•   
  •   
  •   

World Amnesty Implicates Eritrean Troops in War Crimes in Ethiopia

04:01  26 february  2021
04:01  26 february  2021 Source:   bloomberg.com

'Horrible': Witnesses recall massacre in Ethiopian holy city

  'Horrible': Witnesses recall massacre in Ethiopian holy city NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Bodies with gunshot wounds lay in the streets for days in Ethiopia’s holiest city. At night, residents listened in horror as hyenas fed on the corpses of people they knew. But they were forbidden from burying their dead by the invading Eritrean soldiers. Those memories haunt a deacon at the country’s most sacred Ethiopian Orthodox church in Axum, where local faithful believe the ancient Ark of the Covenant is housed. As Ethiopia’s Tigray region slowly resumes telephone service after three months of conflict, the deacon and other witnesses gave The Associated Press a detailed account of what might be its deadliest massacre.

(Bloomberg) -- Eritrean troops massacred hundreds of unarmed civilians in the northern Ethiopian town of Axum in November last year, killings that constituted war crimes, an Amnesty International probe has found.

a man holding a kite: A member of the Amhara Special Forces watches on at the border crossing with Eritrea where an Imperial Ethiopian flag waves, in Humera, Ethiopia, on November 22, 2020. © Photographer: EDUARDO SOTERAS/AFP A member of the Amhara Special Forces watches on at the border crossing with Eritrea where an Imperial Ethiopian flag waves, in Humera, Ethiopia, on November 22, 2020.

The human rights group based its conclusions on interviews with 41 survivors of the attacks and witnesses who saw soldiers firing on people in the streets, as well as phone calls with residents of the town in the Tigray province. Respondents described extra-judicial executions, indiscriminate shelling and widespread looting as Ethiopian and Eritrean troops fought forces loyal to the region’s ruling Tigray People’s Liberation Front.

Ethiopia's regional Tigray forces name conditions for peace with government

  Ethiopia's regional Tigray forces name conditions for peace with government Ethiopia's regional Tigray forces name conditions for peace with governmentPrime Minister Abiy Ahmed ordered air strikes and a ground offensive against the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) - the former ruling party in the northern region - after regional forces attacked federal army bases in the region on Nov. 4.

“The evidence is compelling and points to a chilling conclusion,” Deprose Muchena, Amnesty’s director for east and southern Africa, said in a report released on Friday. “Ethiopian and Eritrean troops carried out multiple war crimes in their offensive to take control of Axum.”

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed ordered an incursion into Tigray after TPLF forces attacked a federal military camp in the region, the culmination of months of tension between national and regional authorities. While Abiy declared victory on Nov. 28, fighting is ongoing. Top Ethiopian officials have denied that Eritrean forces have been involved in the conflict and the Eritrean government has been silent on the matter.

Why Ethiopia’s Nobel Peace Prize Winner Is Waging War: QuickTake

Amnesty International removes Alexei Navalny's 'prisoner of conscience' status

  Amnesty International removes Alexei Navalny's 'prisoner of conscience' status Amnesty International stripped Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny of his "prisoner of conscience" status in response to past comments, saying he "advocated violence and discrimination and he has not retracted such statements."The group confirmed Wednesday that it received enough complaints to warrant action against the Vladimir Putin critic, who, months ago, survived an assassination attempt by poisoning and is now in prison for charges in Russia that Navalny claims are politically motivated.

The two nations’ forces indiscriminately shelled Axum and shot at those who tried to flee, before entering the town together, according to Amnesty. Witnesses identified trucks with Eritrean plates, saw troops wearing its military’s beige uniforms and speaking a distinctive Tigrinya dialect in the town, and described how they looted stores, public buildings and private homes, it said.

“Above and beyond that, Eritrean troops went on a rampage and systematically killed hundreds of civilians in cold blood, which appears to constitute crimes against humanity,” Muchena said. “This atrocity ranks among the worst documented so far in this conflict.”

While witnesses supplied Amnesty with the names of more than 240 people who were killed in Axum, the rights group hasn’t been able to independently verify a death toll. A video and satellite images showed burials were conducted in the area around Dec. 13 that followed a large funeral.

Amnesty International accuses the Eritrean army of massacres in Tigray

 Amnesty International accuses the Eritrean army of massacres in Tigray © Zerihun Sewunet According to Amnesty International, the Eritrean army allegedly committed "extrajudicial killings" and "large-scale looting" in Tigray, Ethiopia. Photo of people victims of the clashes on February 22 in Adigrat. The snatches of information escaping from the Tigray closed door make the blood run cold.

Amnesty called for a United Nations-led investigation into violations in Axum, the prosecution of those responsible and compensation for the victims and their families.

Appropriate Action

Ethiopia’s government said it was aware that the federal police, prosecutors and the nation’s human rights commission were probing allegations of criminality in Axum, and it would take appropriate action based on their findings. It didn’t directly respond to Amnesty’s report.

“While tragic incidents and unfortunate events do occur in conflict situation, the government of Ethiopia does not condone any act that gratuitously puts the lives of civilians in danger,” it said in a statement on Thursday.

Amnesty said it presented its report to Eritrean authorities on Thursday and they didn’t immediately respond.

The conflict in Tigray has displaced hundreds of thousands of people, with more than 61,000 fleeing into neighboring Sudan. Ethiopian officials say they’ve provided aid to more than 3 million people, but UN agencies say they still don’t have access to most parts of Tigray.

Read more about another alleged massacre in Tigray last year.

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

5 things to know for March 5: Coronavirus, stimulus, immigration, Hong Kong, Ethiopia .
Here's what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day. (You can also get "5 Things You Need to Know Today" delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.)1. CoronavirusTrouble is brewing over vaccine supplies in Europe. Italy has blocked the export of 250,000 AstraZeneca vaccine doses to Australia, citing European Union measures put in place after the company warned of delays in supply shipment to the bloc. Now, France may follow suit and block more vaccine exports in order to meet domestic demand. In Tanzania, Turkmenistan and North Korea, a different threat grows.

usr: 6
This is interesting!