NAIROBI (Somaliguardian) – Eritrean troops killed at least 19 civilians in a remote village in Ethiopia’s Tigray region amid international calls for their immediate withdrawal from the region to stem human rights abuses, The Guardian reported on Wednesday.
The massacre perpetrated by troops from neighboring Eritrea took place in a rural settlement below the fifth-century stone church of Abuna Yemata on May 8 as fighting between allied Ethiopian and Eritrean troops, and Tigray defense forces still continues in the region.
Eritrean troops accused villagers of being supporters of Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and rounded them up in a field. One of the soldiers shot dead two aged men in the group and others opened fire on the remainder in one of the most horrific massacres so far reported in the region.
There have been growing reports of human rights abuses in northern Ethiopia since the country’s prime minister, who had won the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize, ordered a large-scale offensive against Tigray to oust the region’s former ruling party, TPLF.
A number of civilians were killed after allied forces shelled the town of Hawzen just a day before the massacre in Abuna Yemata and reports suggesting appalling atrocities in Tigray are on the rise by the day.
The United States called for the withdrawal of Eritrean and Amhara forces from the region last week and imposed sanctions on officials deemed responsible for the massacres. Washington also threatened further actions against those stoking violence in the region if they fail to reverse course.
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