Home LATEST NEWS Ethiopia: 19 dead in drone strikes in Tigray

Ethiopia: 19 dead in drone strikes in Tigray

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The first air strike carried out Monday by drones on the Ethiopian town of Mai Tsebri, in the south of the northern region of Tigray, killed 17 civilians, humanitarian sources told AFP on Tuesday.

One of the aid workers said dozens of people were injured in the strike, which took place less than 72 hours after a similar bombardment that hit a camp for internally displaced people in northwest Tigray.

The strike in Mai Tsebri took place yesterday (Monday) in the afternoon and killed 17 people working in a flour millthe aid worker said on Tuesday, citing witnesses.

A witness told me the drones arrived and hovered for a little while before dropping their bombs., he added, also reporting dozens of injured.

A person holding a flag.

The conflict between Ethiopia and Tigray has become international. A protester shows an anti-war poster near the Reichstag building in Berlin, Germany, Monday January 10, 2022.

Photo: AP / Markus Schreiber

In another drone strike on Tuesday, two people were killed and dozens injured in Hiwane, south of Mekele, the capital of Tigray, an official and a doctor at the city’s main hospital said.

Dozens of people have been killed and many more injured in a previous drone strike on Friday that hit Dedebit, in north-western Tigray, a camp hosting people displaced by the 14 months of conflict. in Ethiopia.

According to humanitarian sources interviewed by AFP on Tuesday, the attack in Dedebit killed 59 people, one of these sources also reporting 138 injured.

The various figures and statements are impossible to verify, due to the restricted access to Tigray.

A spokeswoman for the Ethiopian government said on Tuesday that she did not have any information on these various strikes.

War, despite the Nobel Peace Prize

The Tigray region has been the scene for 14 months of an armed conflict between the federal government and the former local authorities, resulting from the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), a party that effectively ruled Ethiopia for nearly 30 years, until the coming to power of the current Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

Nobel Peace Prize 2019, Mr. Abiy sent in November 2019 the federal army to Tigray to dismiss the regional authorities who had been challenging his authority for several months, and whom he accused of having attacked military bases.

Abiy Ahmed.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

Photo: Reuters / TIKSA NEGERI

Mr. Abiy quickly proclaimed victory after the capture of Mekele, the regional capital, by Ethiopian troops at the end of 2020. But the rebels of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front retook almost all of Tigray in favor of a counteroffensive last June, before advancing in the neighboring regions of Amhara and Afar and approaching Addis Ababa.

Last December, the rebels announced their withdrawal to Tigray after an offensive by government forces. According to the rebels of Tigray People’s Liberation Front, government forces continue to carry out strikes on the region despite this withdrawal.

On Friday, the Ethiopian government announced amnesty and the release of several incarcerated politicians, including leaders of the opposition and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front.

Emergency humanitarian aid

The conflict in Tigray has left thousands dead and the region, subject according to the UN to a de facto blockade humanitarian aid, lack of food and medicine.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, himself from Tigray, said on Twitter on Tuesday deeply concerned about reports of another drone strike in Tigray, causing injuries and death to too many civilians.

Person carrying a bag.

The conflict has caused a food crisis in Tigray.

Photo: AP / Ben Curtis

I relay the call of Secretary General Antonio Guterres to end the conflict in Ethiopia and for urgent humanitarian aid, he wrote.

Monday’s strike came the day Joe Biden told Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of his concern on the humanitarian situation in the country.

The american president expressed concern that hostilities, including recent airstrikes, continue to cause civilian death and suffering, according to a statement from the White House.

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