War in Tigray may have killed 600,000 people: Peace mediator
Ethiopia has been embroiled in a brutal internal conflict since November 2020.
Former Nigerian President and the African Union's chief negotiator in the peace talks Olusegun Obasanjo said as quoted by The Financial Times that an estimated 600,000 people were killed during an armed battle between Ethiopian government troops and rebels in the Tigray area.
"The number of people killed was about 600,000," he said.
Ethiopian officials stated that when the peace agreement was struck on November 2, 2022, it prevented "1,000 deaths every day," as per Obasanjo.
Tim Vanden Bempt, a member of a research group looking into war crimes perpetrated during the Tigray conflict, believes this figure is "about correct".
"Based on reports from the field, the number of dead could be somewhere between 300,000 and 400,000 civilian casualties only — this from atrocities, starvation, and lack of healthcare," he stressed.
He further added that as many as 200,000-300,000 people died on the battlefield, as per unofficial figures.
The report revealed that some Ethiopian officials estimate the entire number of losses, both civilian and battlefield, at 80,000-100,000 people.
Since November 2020, when the central government accused the rebel Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) of bombing its military camp and initiating an anti-terrorist operation in the region, Ethiopia has been embroiled in a brutal internal conflict.
The rebels seized Mek'ele, the administrative regional center, in June 2021, and the government declared an unconditional truce. Soon after, however, the rebels launched a new onslaught, seizing control of the southern half of Tigray and the nearby Amhara province.
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