600 civilians were killed in massacre in Tigray, Ethiopia’s rights commission says

The killings befell all through the night time of Nov. 9 as safety forces of the area’s ruling Tigray People’s Liberation Front, or TPLF, were retreating from the advance of federal authorities troops, the commission mentioned.

The victims were crushed to loss of life with sticks, stabbed with knives, machetes and hatchets, and strangled with ropes, in accordance with the report. Many others were severely injured and property looted or destroyed, the commission mentioned.

“The killings, bodily and mental injury, as well as the destruction that went on throughout the night . . . indicate the commission of grave human rights violations which may amount to crimes against humanity and war crimes,” the commission mentioned.

The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission’s findings couldn’t be independently verified, however they echo similar accounts reported earlier by Amnesty International, which cited witness statements, photographs and movies as proof.

The commission’s findings, the results of a week-long investigation in the city, are the primary proof of potential struggle crimes being dedicated in Tigray, the place authorities troops and TPLF forces have been combating since Nov. 4 in a battle many worry may destabilize the Horn of Africa.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in an announcement referred to as the commission’s findings “heart-wrenching” and urged the worldwide neighborhood “to condemn these atrocious acts of crimes against humanity.”

There was no quick response to the commission’s report from the TPLF. The regional authorities and refugees fleeing the combating have accused authorities forces of focusing on ethnic Tigrayans.

The commission warned that the loss of life toll from the massacre could possibly be a lot greater, as many individuals were nonetheless lacking and our bodies were hidden in fields exterior the city.

Survivors advised investigators that some residents in the city hid folks in their properties, in church buildings and in farm fields because the Samri gangs raided the city.

“The unimaginably atrocious crime committed against civilians for no reason other than their ethnicity is heartbreaking,” the commission’s chief, Daniel Bekele, mentioned in an announcement, calling for the perpetrators of the assaults to be delivered to justice.

Abiy, who comes from the Oromo, the biggest ethnic group in Ethiopia, on Sunday issued a 72-hour ultimatum to Tigray’s leaders and combatants to give up earlier than authorities forces assault the capital Mekele, with a inhabitants of about half 1,000,000. The deadline is Wednesday.

The battle erupted when Abiy despatched troops to Tigray after the TPLF military and native militia attacked authorities navy bases in the area and tried to steal artillery and different navy tools. The battle unfold across the border to Eritrea when Tigrayan forces fired a number of rockets at its capital and despatched at the very least 40,000 refugees fleeing into Sudan.

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