Tigray War Crossed Genocidal Line; Report Alleges


A new report has concluded there is a ‘reasonable basis’ to believe forces involved in Ethiopia’s two-year conflict in Tigray committed acts of genocide against ethnic Tigrayans.

The 120-page study by the U.S.-based New Lines Institute has accused Ethiopia’s military, Amhara regional forces, and Eritrean troops of committing genocide against ethnic Tigrayans in the country’s northern Tigray region.

The study alleges the forces violated the Genocide Convention through killings of Tigrayans, causing serious bodily and mental harm, deliberately inflicting conditions calculated to destroy the Tigrayan people, and imposing measures intended to prevent Tigrayan births. With evidence from hundreds of interviews and thousands of documents.

The report paints a grim picture of widespread atrocities potentially amounting to genocide carried out during the brutal two-year conflict that has killed thousands and displaced over 2 million civilians.

It implicates evidence that these acts were carried out with an intent to destroy the Tigrayan people in whole or in part, meeting the legal definition of genocide.

Evidence of Genocidal Intent

According to the report, witnesses recounted public statements made by officials that advocated for extreme measures targeting Tigrayans, including calls to inflict widespread starvation and completely “wipe out” the ethnic group.

It estimates up to 300,000 civilians may have died from violence and lack of aid due to the federal government’s blockade on Tigray.

The study also accuses Abiy’s government and its allies of using rape and sexual violence as a ‘weapon’ against Tigrayan women and girls.

Previously the Human Rights Watch (HRW) has reported that ethnic cleansing and atrocities against Tigrayans have continued despite the November 2022 truce between Ethiopian government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).

HRW documented arbitrary detentions, torture, and extrajudicial killings of Tigrayans in Western Tigray after the ceasefire agreement.

Calls for Justice

The New Lines Institute’s study urged the international community to apply pressure on Ethiopia through diplomatic channels and legal proceedings at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). It calls for governments to launch criminal investigations against perpetrators from all sides of the conflict.

The war erupted in November 2020 when Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed ordered a military offensive against regional forces in Tigray, following months of tension with the formerly dominant TPLF.

(The East African Daily)

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