Africa

Ethiopia's rights watchdog 'alarmed by disturbing reports'

Tigray People's Liberation Front fighting in neighboring Amhara, Afar regional states after government forces' withdrawal from Tigray early July

Addis Getachew   | 21.09.2021
Ethiopia's rights watchdog 'alarmed by disturbing reports'

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia

The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) said Sunday it is "is alarmed by disturbing reports" about deliberate attacks against civilians in Kobo and surrounding towns in the Amhara regional state by the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) fighters.

The commission said that the reports it is receiving point to "deliberate attacks by the TPLF fighters, including shelling on civilian areas, house-to-house searches and killings, looting, and destruction of civilian infrastructures."

"It will conduct further probe into the reported atrocities," the EHRC said.

The TPLF spokesperson is not immediately available for comment on the allegation.

The Tigray rebels have been fighting inside neighboring regional states of Amhara and Afar after the federal government withdrew its troops from Tigray early July.

The withdrawal immediately followed the government's declaration of a unilateral cease-fire on June 29.

The armed conflict began in November after the TPLF forces allegedly attacked the Northern Command of the Ethiopian Defense Forces stationed across Tigray, including in the regional capital Mekele.

More than two million people became internally displaced while tens of thousands fled to neighboring Sudan, according to UN reports.

On Friday, US President Joe Biden signed an executive order authorizing sanctions against people responsible for continued armed conflict in northern Ethiopia.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed wrote an open letter to Biden, saying "his government was unfairly pressured by the US government and his country would not kneel to such pressures."

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