An attack in the city of May Cadera, in northern Ethiopia, killed dozens and probably hundreds of civilians on Nov. 9, Amnesty International said Thursday. Northern Ethiopia is currently the scene of a conflict between the Ethiopian government and the well-armed local government of Tigray State.
EU: ‘Danger of humanitarian disaster is acute’
The civilian victims “appear to have been day laborers who were in no way involved in the ongoing military offensive” in the troubled region of Tigray, where the city is located, said Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s director for East and Southern Africa.
The human rights organization was not yet able to designate a person responsible for the attack. Witnesses state that troops loyal to the local government of Tigray are responsible for the attack, but this has not yet been confirmed.
Tigray’s local government, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), has been at odds with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed since he took power in 2018. Tensions between the two parties grew after the TPLF organized local elections in September against the will of the federal government.
It is still unclear how many victims have been killed by the conflict so far. According to sources and local media, hundreds have now been killed.
Tigray is located in the north of Ethiopia and borders Eritrea and Sudan. (Image: ANP)
Tigray, the federal government and all other warring factions “must hold back and push harder for calls for hatred and violence to be dropped,” warns the European Union.
“The danger of a major humanitarian disaster is acute,” said EU foreign chief Josep Borrell. He is “deeply concerned” about demonizing some ethnic groups and fears the “evil and deadly” consequences.
Experts warn that chaos in Ethiopia could have a major impact on all of Northeast Africa and also trigger new refugee flows to Europe. More than ten thousand Ethiopians fled to neighboring Sudan this week.