Rights Groups: Amhara Forces in Ethiopia Committed Atrocities in Tigray

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Rights groups Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch say forces from Ethiopia’s Amhara region have committed a series of atrocities in the neighboring Tigray region.

According to the two group’s reports, released Thursday, Amhara region militia forces are carrying out mass detentions and killing civilians in western Tigray.

Joanne Mariner, Director of Crisis Response at Amnesty International, says “The new onslaught of abuses by Amhara forces against Tigrayan civilians remaining in several towns in Western Tigray should ring alarm bells.”

Mariner also called on immediate intervention to prevent further atrocities on ethnic Tigrayans in detention facilities.

The rights groups said they learned of the atrocities from victims, witnesses and residents of Western Tigray.

The rights group says Amhara region police officers, police militias and a civilian militia group known as Fanos have systematically rounded up Tigrayans in the towns of Adebai, Humera, and Rawyan since early November.

According to the report, the Amhara forces are also involved in looting shops and villages. Witnesses say the forces also shoot locals when they attempt to flee.

Both rights groups called on the Ethiopia government and its allies to stop targeting civilians, release the detainees, and allow humanitarian agencies access to Western Tigray.

They asked the international community to put pressure on the government and pave the way for an international investigation.

Amnesty International says it has sought a comment from Ethiopian authorities on the matter but got no response.

Western Tigray is a disputed area between Tigray and Amhara regions. Amhara forces entered this fertile area following the outbreak of hostilities between the federal government and Tigrayan forces in November 2020.

On Friday, the U.N. Human Rights Council will hold special session on the situation in Northern Ethiopia following the request by the EU. But Ethiopia objects to the move and said the decision is politically motivated.

Source: Voice of America

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