Dozens reported killed in Tigray air strikes: UN

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP
  • Dozens of civilians were reportedly killed last week in a barrage of air strikes in Ethiopia's conflict-wracked northernmost Tigray region.
  • Ethiopia's government said last week that its troops would not advance further into Tigray.
  • The TPLF announced a retreat to Tigray last week, marking a turning point in the war which has left thousands of people dead and pushed many more into famine.

Dozens of civilians were reportedly killed last week in a barrage of air strikes in Ethiopia's conflict-wracked northernmost Tigray region, the highest casualties recorded since October, the UN's emergency-response agency said Thursday.

Ethiopia's government said last week that its troops would not advance further into Tigray, signalling a potential pause in fighting even as Tigrayan rebels accuse the military of carrying out several air strikes in the region this month.

The claims by the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) rebel group could not be independently confirmed by AFP.

On Thursday, the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said that air strikes between December 19 to 24 had "reportedly led to mass civilian casualties, including dozens of people reportedly killed, making this the most intense series of air attacks and casualties reported since October".

The strikes reportedly hit the towns of Alamata, Korem, Maychew, Mekoni, and Milazat in southern Tigray, with one destroying an electrical substation in the regional capital Mekele, OCHA said, without providing further details about the source for the reports.

"Due to limited access and insecurity in the area, humanitarian partners could not verify the exact number of casualties yet," the agency said.

The TPLF announced a retreat to Tigray last week, marking a turning point in the war which has left thousands of people dead and pushed many more into famine.

OCHA said the situation in northern Ethiopia remains "tense and unpredictable" with aid workers struggling to get crucial supplies to those in need.

Citing security issues, the agency said:

No trucks with humanitarian aid cargo entered Tigray since 14 December. Overall, 1 338 trucks have entered the region since 12 July, which represents less than 12 per cent of the required supplies required to meet the scale of humanitarian needs.


The fighting in Africa's second most populous nation has displaced more than two million people and more than nine million are in need of food aid, according to UN estimates.

There have been reports of massacres, mass rapes and other atrocities by all sides, and the UN Human Rights Council has ordered a probe into a wide range of alleged abuses, a move condemned by Addis Ababa.

The war broke out in November last year when Abiy sent troops into Tigray to topple the TPLF, accusing its fighters of attacking army camps.

He vowed a swift victory, but the TPLF mounted a shock comeback, recapturing most of Tigray by June before advancing into neighbouring Afar and Amhara.

At one point, the rebels claimed to be only 200 kilometres by road from the capital Addis Ababa, sparking alarm among foreign governments who urged their citizens to leave the country as soon as possible.


Never miss a story. Choose from our range of newsletters to get the news you want delivered straight to your inbox.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Zama zama crackdown: What are your thoughts on West Village residents taking the law into their own hands?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Authorities should bring in the army already
11% - 2141 votes
Illegal miners can't be scapegoated for all crime
49% - 9855 votes
What else did we expect without no proper policing
36% - 7278 votes
Vigilante groups are also part of the problem
4% - 733 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
16.43
-0.3%
Rand - Pound
19.87
-0.2%
Rand - Euro
16.69
-0.1%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.48
+0.4%
Rand - Yen
0.12
+0.2%
Gold
1,774.19
-0.1%
Silver
20.08
-0.3%
Palladium
2,155.00
-0.2%
Platinum
935.00
-0.3%
Brent Crude
92.34
-3.0%
Top 40
64,502
-0.4%
All Share
71,364
-0.2%
Resource 10
64,031
-2.1%
Industrial 25
87,385
+0.4%
Financial 15
16,333
+0.6%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE