UN rights office decries Ethiopia air strikes, says 108 killed this month


  • World
  • Friday, 14 Jan 2022

FILE PHOTO: A woman stands in line to receive food donations, at the Tsehaye primary school, which was turned into a temporary shelter for people displaced by conflict, in the town of Shire, Tigray region, Ethiopia, March 15, 2021. REUTERS/Baz Ratner/File Photo

GENEVA (Reuters) - The U.N. human rights office (OHCHR) on Friday expressed alarm at "multiple, deeply disturbing reports" of air strikes in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, saying at least 108 civilians had been killed since the start of January.

Liz Throssell, an OHCHR spokesperson, described numerous attacks, including on a private minibus, an airport and a camp for displaced people, saying that at least 59 people died in the camp strike, making it the most lethal one.

"At least 108 civilians have reportedly been killed and 75 others injured since the year began as a result of air strikes allegedly carried out by the Ethiopian air force," Throssell told Geneva-based journalists.

She called on Ethiopian authorities and their allies to ensure the protection of civilians in line with international law which requires verification that targets are military.

"Failure to respect the principles of distinction and proportionality could amount to war crimes," she said.

Ethiopia's military spokesperson Colonel Getnet Adane and government spokesperson 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 rebellious Tigrayan forces. The Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) that is fighting the central government is not believed to have the air power to carry out strikes.

A U.N. World Food Programme official warned at the same briefing that its operations in northern Ethiopia "are about to grind to a halt" because of intense fighting nearby.

"With no food, no fuel, no access, we are on the edge of a major humanitarian disaster," said the WFP's Thomson Phiri.

(Reporting by Emma Farge; aditional reporting by Dawit Endeshaw and George Obulutsa; Editing by Toby Chopra, William Maclean)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights
   

Next In World

Argentine President touts tax hikes to curb food inflation, lacks Congress support
U.S. says Cuba not cooperating fully against terrorism, inflaming tensions
France's Macron opts for continuity in government reshuffle
A prison cell, blood and 'zombies': Trevor Reed describes detention in Russia
Ukraine neighbours endure war in different ways
Don't forget other crises with Ukraine focus, UN warns
Colombian leftist Petro holds lead in presidential race, poll shows
WHO calls emergency meeting as monkeypox cases cross 100 in Europe
Spain supports Ukraine's EU entry, foreign minister says
Hindu women press for access to Indian mosque, in latest dispute

Others Also Read