Thu. Jan 20th, 2022

UN says at least 108 civilians have been killed in Tigray since the start of the new year, as it warns that aid spreads are at an all-time low.

The UN Human Rights Office has sounded the alarm over “multiple, deeply disturbing reports” of airstrikes in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, saying at least 108 civilians have been killed since the beginning of January.

Liz Throssell, an office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) spokesperson, described numerous attacks, including on a private minibus, an airport and a camp for displaced persons. At least 59 people died in the camp strike, making it the deadliest to date.

“We are upset about the numerous, deeply disturbing reports we are still receiving of civilian casualties and destruction of civilian objects as a result of airstrikes in Ethiopia. Tigray region, ”Throssell told reporters in Geneva.

“At least 108 civilians have been killed and 75 others injured since the beginning of the year as a result of airstrikes carried out by the Ethiopian air force.”

“Dialogue and reconciliation”

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said later on Friday that he was “heartbroken by the suffering of the Ethiopian people”, and again called on the parties to stop fighting.

“All people who need humanitarian aid must receive it as soon as possible. It is time to start dialogue and reconciliation, “he posted on Twitter.

Throssell called on Ethiopian authorities and their allies to ensure the protection of civilians in accordance with international law requiring verification that targets are military.

“We call on the Ethiopian authorities and their allies to ensure the protection of civilians and civilian objects, in accordance with their obligations under international law,” she said.

“Failure to respect the principles of distinction and proportionality could amount to war crimes.”

Ethiopia’s military spokesman Colonel Getnet Adane and government spokesman Legesse Tulu did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the alleged strikes.

The government has previously denied targeting civilians in the 14-month-old conflict with insurgent Tigrayan forces. The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which fights against the central government, apparently does not have the air force to carry out strikes.

Meanwhile, during the same briefing, the UN’s World Food Program (WFP) said its spreads were at an all-time low, with the escalation of the conflict meaning no WFP convoy had reached the Tigrayan capital, Mekelle, since mid-December.

“Life-saving food aid operations in northern Ethiopia are on the verge of halting intense fighting in the area that has blocked the passage of fuel and food,” WFP spokesman Tomson Phiri told reporters.

“After 14 months of conflict in northern Ethiopia, more people are needed than ever urgent food aid. With no food, no fuel, no access, we are on the brink of a major humanitarian disaster. “

Source link

By admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *