AU Mediator: War In Ethiopia’s Tigray Region May Have Killed 600,000 People
The African Union (AU) mediator in Ethiopia’s Tigray conflict, Olusegun Obasanjo, claims up to 600,000 people may have lost their lives in the two-year war in Ethiopia’s Tigray, reported The BBC.
“The number of people killed was about 600,000,” Mr. Obasanjo told the Financial Times (FT) on Sunday.
While the number of fatalities in the war is difficult to verify, researchers have previously estimated the deaths to be in the hundreds of thousands.
On Sunday, the FT quoted Daniel Bekele, the head of Ethiopia’s human rights commission, as saying that estimates are given by all sides needed to be treated with caution as it was impossible to know the exact number of casualties.
The war erupted in November 2020, when Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed ordered a military offensive against regional forces in Tigray, describing it as a response to an attack on a military base housing government troops.
In November 2022, the Ethiopian government and the Tigray rebels signed a new ceasefire agreement, which provided for the disarmament of TPLF forces within a few weeks. The African Union (AU) brokered the deal between the two sides to restore basic services in Tigray.
The restoration of the Internet connection and telecommunications in the region, the resumption of banks’ operations, and humanitarian aid supplies were discussed during the talks among other issues.
Late last month, the AU officials arrived in Ethiopia’s Tigray region to launch a joint monitoring and verification mechanism to oversee the implementation of the terms of the agreed ceasefire.
The peace deal calls for the restoration of all humanitarian services, the disarmament of rebel groups, and the withdrawal of foreign forces and other militia groups from the region.
Notably, some of the peace deal’s provisions have already been implemented, including humanitarian aid and the restoration of banking and telecommunications services.