The Ethiopian government has denied committing war crimes in the northern region of Tigray, where its forces have been carrying out an operation against local fighters since November of last year.
The government said that “social media posts and claims cannot be taken as evidence” in response to an investigation by the CNN and Amnesty International.
The investigation, which was published on April 1, verified footage of soldiers executing a group of at least 11 unarmed men near the town of Mahibere Dego. The bodies of the men were later disposed.
“The Ethiopian government has indicated its open will for independent investigations to be undertaken in the Tigray region,” the office of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed told CNN in a statement on April 2.
The statement adds that social media posts and claims cannot be taken as evidence, noting that the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission together with the UN Office for the High Commissioner of Human Rights are already to carry out a real investigations.
CNN has investigated a gruesome video appearing to show Ethiopian soldiers carrying out extrajudicial executions of unarmed men in Tigray, Ethiopia. This is what we found: https://t.co/fuwdYgibq9 pic.twitter.com/hCUSjsLuBE
— CNN International (@cnni) April 2, 2021
Ethiopian government forces have been battling the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and other local forces in Tigray for nearly five months now.
The CNN claims that Mahibere Dego execution was not an isolated incident. According to the channel, a number of mass killings have been reported over the course of the conflict.
The conflict in Tigray will not likely end anytime soon. The TPLF is in control of up to 40% of the region. According to the International Crisis Group, thousands were killed in the fighting. More than two million others were displaced.
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