Airstrikes in Ethiopia’s Tigray kill more than 100 civilians this year

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The UN human rights office says at least 108 civilians were killed and many more injured in several airstrikes allegedly carried out by the Ethiopian Air Force in the northern region of Tiger since the beginning of the new year.

Over the past two weeks, airstrikes have hit the Tigray Technical Vocational Education and Training Institute, a camp for displaced persons, a flour mill, a private minibus and many other civilian targets.

Spokeswoman for the UN human rights office, Liz Throssell, said the number of dead and injured is based on information collected from different sources by colleagues monitoring the situation in Ethiopia.

“The deadliest airstrike to date, which hit Dedebit IDP camp on January 7, left at least 56 people dead and 30 injured. We have since established that three of those who were seriously injured later died in hospital while receiving medical treatment, bringing the death toll from that strike alone to at least 59,” she said. declared.

Throssell says observers continue to receive deeply disturbing reports of civilian casualties and destruction of civilian sites resulting from airstrikes in Tigray.

“We call on the Ethiopian authorities and their allies to ensure the protection of civilians and civilian objects, in accordance with their obligations under international law. Any attack, including air strikes, must fully respect the principles of distinction, proportionality and precautions in attack…Failure to respect the principles of distinction and proportionality could constitute war crimes,” he said. she declared.

The Ethiopian government has not commented on allegations of responsibility for the airstrikes in Tigray.

The United Nations reports that tens of thousands of people have been killed and nearly two million displaced since the conflict between pro-Ethiopian government forces and Tigrayan forces erupted in November 2020. It says 5.2 million people are in need of life-saving assistance, with 400,000 living in near starvation conditions.

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