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AI fears for civilians amidst Tigray reprisals

Amnesty International Wednesday said it is deeply concerned about the safety of civilians in Tigray, who have endured months of…

Amnesty International Wednesday said it is deeply concerned about the safety of civilians in Tigray, who have endured months of fighting and serious human rights abuses, including war crimes, by all sides to the conflict.“We call on all parties to prevent further massacres and war crimes, including by ensuring no reprisal attacks are carried out by their troops or militias allied to them” AI said in a statement. 

“All parties must ensure unfettered access to humanitarian aid for all civilians, and work to restore full access to communication as there is no access to the internet, print or broadcast media at the moment” the statement added.

The Tigray Defence Forces (TDF), the armed forces of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, regained control of Mekelle, Tigray’s regional capital on 28 June following months of fighting with the Ethiopian army – the Ethiopian National Defence Forces (ENDF), its allied militias, and troops from Eritrea.

There are fears of reprisal attacks against civilians in Tigray by all sides  – retreating ENDF troops, their allied armed forces and militias in neighboring Amhara region and Eritrean forces and the TDF.

Access to information is currently hindered by a communication blackout, with no internet service, newspapers, radio or television broadcasts in the region.

Ethiopians have been perplexed for the past two days after federal forces withdrew from Mekelle and most parts of Tigray following what was described as an immediate and unilateral ceasefire. 

For many, it appeared as if it happened instantly and against the anticipation of Ethiopians. 

Although TPLF forces reportedly entered Mekelle on Monday, reports citing government sources indicate that the movement’s leaders have not yet entered the city. 

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