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Amnesty Confirms Mass Massacre Of Civilians In Ethiopia’s Tigray Conflict

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Scores of civilians have been killed in Mai-Kadra in South-Western Tigray state, most of them, stabbed or hacked to death, Amnesty International said in a statement on Thursday.

Amnesty said the victims were stabbed or hacked to death on the night of 9 November, according to an investigation carried out by its Crisis Evidence Lab, which has examined and digitally verified gruesome photographs and videos of bodies strewn across the town or being carried away on stretchers.

It confirmed the images were recent and using satellite imagery, geolocated them to Mai-Kadra in western Tigray state.

“We have confirmed the massacre of a very large number of civilians, who appear to have been day labourers in no way involved in the ongoing military offensive. This is a horrific tragedy whose true extent only time will tell as communication in Tigray remains shut down,” said Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Director for East and Southern Africa.

Most of the dead bodies were found in the town centre, near the premises of a national commercial bank, and along a road that leads to the neighbouring Humera town, according to witnesses and verified images, Amnesty International said in a statement.

Witnesses said the bodies had gaping wounds that appear to have been inflicted by sharp weapons such as knives and machetes, reports which have been confirmed by an independent pathologist commissioned by Amnesty International. There were no signs of gunshot wounds.

It remained unclear who was responsible for the killings, but witnesses alleged that forces loyal to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) were responsible for the mass killings, apparently after they suffered defeat from the federal EDF forces.

On 4 November 2020, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed ordered the Ethiopian Defence Forces (EDF) to militarily engage with the Tigray Regional Paramilitary Police and militia loyal to the Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF) in what he stated was a response to multiple attacks by the Tigray security forces on the EDF North Command base in Mekelle and other military camps in Tigray Region.

Since the start of the conflict, there have been armed confrontations between federal forces (Federal Army, Amhara Region’s Special Force Police and Amhara local militia) on one side and the Tigray regional forces (Tigray Special Force Police and militia) on the other side.

“There was a military operation by the EDF and Amhara Special Force against the Tigray Special Police and militia at a place called Lugdi during the daytime on 9 November. After they defeated the Tigray forces, the EDF spent the night on the outskirts of Mai-Kadra town. When we entered, we saw a lot of dead bodies, soaked in blood, on the streets and rental dormitories frequented by seasonal workers. The view was really debasing, and I am still in shock struggling to cope with the experience,” a civilian who entered the town after it was retaken by EDF told Amnesty International.

Amnesty International said the government should restore communication to Tigray as an act of accountability and transparency for its military operations in the region, as well as ensure unfettered access to humanitarian organizations and human rights monitors.

Amnesty International will regardless continue to use all means available to document and expose violations by all parties to the conflict.”

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EU Says Aid Pact With Ethiopia Not Respected

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With at least 46,000 refugees fleeing to Sudan and more than 100,000 in Tigray, the European Union (EU) has said the agreement with the Ethiopian government isn’t respected.

The EU and the Ethiopian government agreed on a pace for the provision of humanitarian access but Europe says the Ethiopian government’s access is partial and is filled with bureaucracies.

Some children in Tigray are malnourished according to the EU, with Ethiopia claiming that the war is over.

However, leader of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), Debretsion Gebremichael has said that the claims made by the Ethiopian government are lies.

He accused the government of killing civilians in Mekelle, the Tigrayan capital which has over 500,000 people.

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed has said the top generals in the TPLF have been captured or killed.

Ethiopia is planning for an election in 2021 after its postponement in August.

The TPLF is dubbed a rebellious group by Mr Ahmed after they engaged government in armed conflicts for exactly a month now.

On the 4th of November, the Ethiopian government said its military base and state properties have been attacked, and it launched counteroffensives against the Tigrayan forces.

Ethiopia launched its final offensive last week when it claimed it has taken over Mekelle, without harming any civilian.

The TPLF has accused the Ethiopia and Eritrea of shelling Tigrayans and looting materials. Mr Ahmed has denied this.

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Militants Ambush, Kill 25 Mozambican Soldiers

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Villages in Mozambique's northern region grapple with faceless jihadists

No fewer than 25 members of the Mozambique Defence Armed Forces (FADM), including a colonel and a major, died in an ambush by Islamist militants in Matambalale village in the district of Muidumbe, local media reports have said.

According to reports, 15 others were injured in the ambush.

A group of military personnel were on manoeuvres in that region when the incident happened on Sunday, according to local media.

The victims were part of a group sent to that district to reinforce security after last week’s attacks where homes were set ablaze and residents killed.

The army has not been available to confirm or deny the reports.

The three-year insurgency has killed more than 2,000 people and displaced about 500,000 others in Cabo Delgado, according to official statistics.

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Lightning Kills Four In Mozambique

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No fewer than four people have been killed by lightning strikes in Mozambique’s western province of Tete, the Institute for Disaster Management (INGC) announced on Wednesday.

News Central reports that Tete shares a border with neighbouring Malawi.

According to the institute, the victims include an elderly woman and a three-year-old child. One other victim was seriously injured and a residence set ablaze.

The incident follows a rainstorm accompanied by strong winds that left a trail of destruction in southern Mozambique.

Tete’s National Disaster Management Institute delegate, Alex Angelo, said the torrential rain also caused damage in Maputo province on Tuesday and early Wednesday morning.

He added that thunderstorms, wind and heavy rain brought down trees and power poles and damaged public infrastructure in the districts of Matola, Boane and Marracuene.

The storm also destroyed homes, uprooted trees and electricity poles and blew away the roofs of some schools and a local prosecutor’s office.

The destruction occurred mainly in four districts within the province.

The meteorological authorities predict the bad weather may continue for four more days.

The situation is likely to cause flooding in the cities of Beira and Dondo, which were devastated by cyclone Idai last year, and cause erosion in Chimoio.

Meteorologist Acacio Tembe says the torrential rains are beginning a week earlier than expected and they will continue for long.

He added that the rains may cause the flooding of the Buzi and Pungue rivers.

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