Tigray Crisis Genocidal War Waged In Ethiopia Region Says Ex-leader

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Tigray Crisis Genocidal War Waged In Ethiopia Region Says Ex-leader

Ethiopian and Eritrean forces have waged a “devastating and genocidal war” in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, the region’s ousted leader has said.

Debretsion Gebremichael urged the international community to investigate the alleged atrocities.

The Ethiopian government said his claims were “unfounded”, and his forces were guilty of “horrendous crimes”.

Conflict broke out in November after Mr Debretsion’s forces captured Ethiopian government military bases in Tigray.

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy responded by ordering a ground and air offensive, which led to his troops capturing the regional capital, Mekelle, on 28 November.

Mr Debretsion fled the capital with fighters from his Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), and vowed to resist federal control over the region.

The conflict has led to about two million people, or a third of Tigray’s population, being displaced.

What exactly did the TPLF leader say?

This was the first time in more than two months that Mr Debretsion had spoken in public. An audio recording of his comments, lasting for about 20 minutes, was broadcast on a Facebook account run by a TPLF media outlet.

“A devastating and genocidal war was waged against the people of Tigray because they firmly fought for their right to self-determination and they held a democratic election. The invasion and massacre has continued. So does the struggle of the people of Tigray,” he said.

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Mr Debretsion also alleged widespread incidents of murder, rape, torture and starvation.

It is unclear when the recording was made but he mentioned the killings of other TPLF leaders, which suggested it was recent.

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Mr Debretsion is wanted by the government on charges of treason.

The authorities announced earlier this month that several senior TPLF members, including Ethiopia’s former Foreign Minster Seyoum Mesfin, had been killed in the conflict.

Mr Debretsion said the TPLF had suffered setbacks because “four governments” were fighting against it in Tigray.

“Abiy Ahmed invited forces, including the Eritrean army, and they are massacring the people of Tigray.

“The atrocities should be investigated and all legal actions should be taken against the invading forces,” he said.

Tigray Crisis Genocidal War Waged In Ethiopia Region Says Ex-leader

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