Hundreds of civilians have been killed this week in a gruesome massacre in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, according to Amnesty International, in an act that the UN said could amount to war crimes.
On Monday evening in the small town of Mai-Kadra, a few kilometers from the Sudanese border, “scores, and likely hundreds” of people were stabbed or hacked to death, Amnesty said, based on verified photos and videos the scene and interviews with witnesses.
“We have confirmed the massacre of a very large number of civilians, who appear to have been day labourers in no way involved in the ongoing military offensive,” said Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s director for East and Southern Africa.
The UN Human Rights chief, Michelle Bachelet has called for an inquiry, expressing concerns that the situation could “spiral totally out of control”.
“If confirmed as having been deliberately carried out by a party to the current fighting, these killings of civilians would of course amount to war crimes,” she said.
Amnesty said it had not been able to independently verify who was responsible for the killing, although several witnesses had pointed to forces loyal to the Tigrayan leaders.
Tigray’s leader Debretsion Gebremichael, who chairs the TPLF, said his troops had not been involved in the massacre.
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SOURCE: The Telegraph, Anna Pujol-Mazzini