Humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia: raid on a market in Tigray, dozens of victims
Dozens of people were killed in Ethiopia today in an air raid by central government forces against a market in the northern region of Tigray.
As reported by Reuters, citing local medical sources, at least 43 people were killed in the raid that would have hit the market in the town of Togoga, near the regional capital Mekelle, around 13 local time.
The Ethiopian army has denied attacking civilians, claiming to have conducted the attacks to target “terrorists”. A woman told Reuters that the market was full of families and that she had not seen any armed forces in the area, saying that her husband and two-year-old daughter were injured.
In recent days, new clashes have been reported in Tigray north of the capital of Mekelle, taken by central government forces at the end of the offensive launched in November last year against the Popular Front for the Liberation of Tigray (Tplf) which ruled the region and previously the country too, before the rise of current Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in 2018.
Last Monday a vote was held in the country that Abiy’s intentions should have consecrated Ethiopia’s transition to democracy, after decades of authoritarian governments and controlled elections.
However, after the war launched in Tigray and the arrest of numerous opposition figures, the legitimacy of the elections was questioned by numerous international observers. The vote, which was postponed twice, was not held in Tigray and was delayed in two other regions.
Last week, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock said that in Tigray “there is now famine”, accusing Eritrean soldiers who intervened in the conflict alongside Addis Ababa forces, of using hunger as ” weapon of war “.
Addressing Security Council members in a briefing behind closed doors, Lowcock said that in the region “rape is being used systematically to terrorize and brutalize women and girls. Humanitarian workers have been killed, interrogated, beaten, stopped from bringing aid to those who are hungry and suffering and have been told not to return ”.