Ethiopia Tigray Forces Deny Reports of Mass Killings in Amhara

FILE – In this Tuesday, May 11, 2021 file photo, Ethiopian government soldiers ride in the back of a truck on a road leading to Abi Adi, in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia. The United Nations secretary-general Antonio Guterres said Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021 that humanitarian conditions in Ethiopia are “hellish” as the nine-month Tigray conflict spreads in Africa’s second most populous country. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis, File)

Rebel forces from Ethiopia’s Tigray region denied reports on Wednesday that they had killed dozens of civilians over a two-day period in the Amhara area. 

Regional Authorities had reported on Wednesday that over 120 civilians were killed between September 1 and 2 and that they had recovered bodies that appeared to be those of farmers in a village roughly 10 kilometres from the town of Dabat. 

The Tigray People’s Liberation Front released a statement later on Wednesday rejecting what they termed “a fabricated allegation.” 

A spokesperson for the TPLF, Getachew Reda said  “We reiterate our call for an independent investigation into all atrocities, and our willingness to facilitate media access to areas under our control for independent verification of any allegations,”

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“We categorically reject claims of our forces’ involvement in the killing of civilians,”

On June 28, the Ethiopian government announced an immediate and unilateral humanitarian cease-fire after nearly eight months of fighting with Tigrayan forces. But hostilities have continued, and the prime minister recently urged all Ethiopians to join the fight. 

Tigray forces reclaimed control of the regional capital, Mekelle, after government forces withdrew. In the weeks since the cease-fire was announced, they have expanded their presence into the neighbouring regions of Afar and Amhara, where fighting has escalated, displacing tens of thousands of civilians. 

The TPLF, which ruled Ethiopia for three decades, now controls Tigray. The TPLF-led authority administering the region says it is the Tigray Regional Government; Ethiopian federal authorities say that the government was dissolved and that a provisional administration has the mandate in Tigray. 

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