The recent massacre of hundreds of innocent people in northern Ethiopia allegedly committed by the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF), needs full inquiry, says the United Nations.
“There is a risk this situation will spiral totally out of control leading to heavy causalities and destruction as well as mass displacement within Ethiopia itself and across borders…While the details of the alleged mass killings reported by Amnesty International in Mai-Kadra south-west Tigray have not yet been fully verified, the High Commissioner for UN Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet called for a full inquiry,” UN Human rights said.
The Amhara Mass Media Agency reported that the number of massacred people in Mai-Kadra reaches around 500. The massacre was committed by the TPLF militias who were pushed back by the Ethiopian Army, according to Amnesty International, which quoted eyewitnesses.
🇪🇹 #Ethiopia: Amid emerging reports of mass killings in the town of Mai-Kadra, @mbachelet expresses increasing alarm at rapidly deteriorating situation in #Tigray: "I strongly urge both sides to realize that there will be no winner in such a situation" 👉 https://t.co/vClDLmDjYW pic.twitter.com/zwSNvYJo0U
— UN Human Rights (@UNHumanRights) November 13, 2020
Amnesty International spoke with witnesses, who were providing food and other supplies to the Ethiopian Defense Forces (EDF), who visited the town immediately after the deadly attack, on the morning of 10 November, to find dead bodies strewn all over the town, as well as injured survivors.
Most of the dead bodies were found in the town centre, near the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia, and along a road that exits to the neighbouring Humera town, according to the witnesses and verified images. “Those wounded told me they were attacked with machetes, axes and knives. You can also tell from the wounds that those who died were attacked by sharp objects. It is horrible and I am really sad that I witnessed this in my life,” one distraught witness said.
This was corroborated by another who said: “We went to the town immediately after the army and the Amhara Special Force took control of Mai-Kadra town on 10 November around 10 am. The army entered … after encircling the town overnight. There was no exchange of fire for the army to take over the town. But when we entered the town, what we saw was devastating. The roads were strewn with dead bodies especially in the centre of the town, and on the road the connects the town to Humera.”
“The Ethiopian authorities must immediately, thoroughly, impartially and effectively investigate this blatant attack on civilians and bring those responsible to justice in fair trials,” said Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Director for East and Southern Africa.
“TPLF commanders and officials must make clear to their forces and their supporters that deliberate attacks on civilians are absolutely prohibited and constitute war crimes. All parties in the Tigray conflict must ensure full respect for international humanitarian law and human rights law in their operations. The safety and protection of civilians must be paramount.”