Home News Ethiopia: two NGOs denounce “ethnic cleansing” in the Tigray region

Ethiopia: two NGOs denounce “ethnic cleansing” in the Tigray region

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In a report released Wednesday, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch (HRW) say Ethiopian civilians in the Tigray region are suffering “ethnic cleansing” and abuses amounting to “war crimes” and “crimes against ‘humanity”.

According to the joint document published by the two NGOs, security forces and militias carried out expulsions, executions and rapes against the Tigrayan population in the western part. A region in northern Ethiopia where conflict erupted between Tigrayan rebels and pro-government troops in November 2020.

Since then, several hundred thousand residents have been expelled from western Tigray by buses and trucks or fled “ethnicity-based persecution” by security forces from the neighboring Amhara region, Amhara militias and local administration.

This “coordinated campaign” took place “with the consent and the possible participation of the Ethiopian federal forces”, underlined Amnesty and HRW, denouncing the inaction of the government of Addis Ababa.

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The government denies

“These widespread and systematic attacks against the Tigrayan civilian population constitute crimes against humanity, as well as war crimes,” Amnesty and HRW say in their report.

Questioned by AFP, a spokesman for the regional government of Amhara, Gizachew Muluneh, described these conclusions as “lies”, judging this report “irresponsible and biased”.

Amnesty and HRW, which collected the testimonies of more than 400 victims, notably documented the summary execution of around sixty men near the Tekezé river, as well as sexual slavery and gang rapes of Tigrayan women.

Amnesty and HRW accuse the federal government of covering up these abuses by restricting access to Tigray. “The Ethiopian authorities steadfastly deny the shocking scale of the crimes committed and are shamefully failing to act to end them,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of HRW.

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