Over 200 internally displaced people, mostly children and women, slaughtered when Tigray rebels shelled a health center and school in the Afar region of Ethiopia
Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) reportedly slaughtered over 200 civilians, including children and women, in the Afar region of Ethiopia last week. Most of the victims are children and women.
They were in a makeshift shelter after they were displaced from their places as the Tigray rebels launched an extensive offensive, with the aim to control the route to Djibouti, in the region.
The rebels shelled a school and health center where the internally displaced were residing.
Afar Human Rights Organization said this week, as reported by DW Amharic service, the International Community has ignored internal displacement, destruction and killings of civilians in the region after the TPLF took the war to the region several weeks ago.
Geaz Mohammed, president of the organization, called upon the Ethiopian government to act in a way to reverse attacks on civilians. In June 2021, the Federal government declared a unilateral humanitarian ceasefire as it withdrew forces from the Tigray region of Ethiopia.
Apart from the killings, an estimated 30,000 quintals of grain was destroyed in the attack.
In all the fronts where the Tigray rebels opened war outside the region, the Ethiopian Defense Force is exhibiting restraint and not engaged in counter-offensive operations which, for many Ethiopians who express their views on social media, is increasing vulnerability of civilians for TPLF attack. When the Tigray rebel forces entered the historic city of Lalibela last Friday, they did not get any resistance from the Defense Force or the regional special forces.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Monday issued a statement expressing “concern” about the situation.
It said : ““UNICEF is extremely alarmed by the reported killing of over 200 people, including more than 100 children, in attacks on displaced families sheltering at a health facility and a school in Afar region on Thursday, 5 August”
However, UNICEF did not say as to who launched the attack or condemned it. It talked about the conflict situation in northern Ethiopia as a cause for it and called for political settlement for it. ““The humanitarian catastrophe spreading across northern Ethiopia is being driven by armed conflict and can only be resolved by the parties to the conflict…,” it said.