Ethiopia: Tigray opposition parties estimate 50,000+ civilian deaths

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Opposition groups in Ethiopia’s Tigray region say at least 50,000 civilians have been killed since conflict broke out between local forces and the federal military three months ago.

Ethiopia’s federal army marched into the Tigray region in November after a rise in dissent from local armed forces. Report of civilian deaths and human right violations carried out by all parties involved in the conflict quickly followed but no official death toll has been released.

Tigray opposition groups estimate death toll

In a statement released on Tuesday, three opposition groups in the Tigray region estimate that at least 50,000 civilians have been killed in the conflict without providing any data source for the figure. The groups also urge the international community to intervene before a “humanitarian disaster of biblical proportion will become a gruesome reality.”

Ethiopia’s government is yet to release any official data for casualties from the conflict while communication inside the Tigray region remains difficult.

The opposition parties are calling for the international community to place pressure upon the government to withdraw troops from the region, affirming fears that civilians face a food crisis after the killing of livestock and the destruction of crops, homes and infrastructure. They accuse the government of using hunger as a weapon in the region of more than 6 million people.

An estimated 20,000 refugees have been displaced due to the conflict, according to data from the UN refugee agency (UNHCR).

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About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.