accounts of atrocities in the Ethiopian region of Tigray

Accounts of atrocities in the Ethiopian region of Tigray

Four months after Ethiopia’s prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, began a sweeping military operation, the restive region of Tigray is being wracked by a bitter civil conflict. Accounts of egregious rights violations — massacres, sexual violence, ethnic cleansing and fears that starvation is being used as a war tactic — have set off alarms across the world.

In Mekelle, the region’s biggest city, hospitals are filled with casualties from the fighting that rages in the countryside, many of them terrified civilians arriving with grievous wounds. Schools house some of the 71,000 people who have fled to the city, often bringing accounts of horrific abuses at the hands of pro-government forces.

Restaurants and bars no longer play certain songs in the local Tigrinya language, fearing retribution. A TV station that once broadcast local news now offers the government’s perspective. The internet has been shut down since November.

Casualties: “I’m lucky to be alive,” Alefesha Hadusha, her head swaddled in bandages, said from her hospital ward. Her parents and two brothers were killed in an attack, she said. An X-ray by her bed showed a bullet lodged in her head.

19-III-21, nytimes