•   
  •   
  •   

World Amnesty Implicates Eritrean Troops in War Crimes in Ethiopia

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

A bid 'to exterminate us': Tigrayans recount massacre by Eritrean troops

  A bid 'to exterminate us': Tigrayans recount massacre by Eritrean troops It was well before noon, yet Beyenesh Tekleyohannes's house had already been buzzing for hours: more than 30 guests were singing, praying and sharing plates of shiro stew and lentils in honour of a major Orthodox Christian holiday. Kahsu Gebrehiwot, a priest at the Orthodox church in Dengolat, bemoaned the fact that not even Ethiopia's Orthodox leaders were denouncing the killings, to say nothing of the federal government. "When people are dying and they are saying nothing, that's a sign that they fear for their lives," Kahsu said, referring to the church leadership.

(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.

'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.

“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

U.S. calls on African Union to exert pressure over worsening crisis in Ethiopia's Tigray

  U.S. calls on African Union to exert pressure over worsening crisis in Ethiopia's Tigray U.S. calls on African Union to exert pressure over worsening crisis in Ethiopia's TigrayWASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Saturday called on the African Union and other international partners to help address a deepening crisis in Ethiopia's northern Tigray region as he condemned alleged atrocities in fighting there.

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.

Blinken: US is 'gravely concerned' about reports of abuses in Ethiopia

  Blinken: US is 'gravely concerned' about reports of abuses in Ethiopia Secretary of State Tony Blinken said the United States is "gravely concerned" regarding reported human rights abuses in Ethiopia's Tigray region, which has been embattled in conflict for months. © Provided by Washington Examiner Reports of Ethiopia's abuses have been widely reported in news outlets, including reports of bullet-wounded bodies laying in the streets of the country's holiest city for days, prompting hyenas to feed on the corpses.

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.

The International Criminal Court just elected a new chief prosecutor. Here’s what you need to know. .
The ICC’s future will rest on the new prosecutor’s success in opening, trying and closing cases — and being fair. Khan has served in multiple international courts, including the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, established after the Balkans conflict and the Rwandan genocide. More recently, Khan led a United Nations criminal probe into suspected war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide by the Islamic State militant group in Iraq.

usr: 3
This is interesting!