Addis Ababa September 20/2022/ENA/ At least, 3598 extrajudicial killings were perpetrated by the Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF) and Shene (the self-styled Oromo Liberation Army) terrorist groups in Amhara and Afar regional states, according to a draft report of the Inter-Ministerial Taskforce on Accountability and Redress Investigation and Prosecutions Committee.
According to the report, the criminal investigations were carried out between 15 September 2021 and 31 January 2022.
The committee concluded that the series of extrajudicial executions perpetrated by the terrorist forces during the designated episodes against civilians in the Amhara and Afar regions amounted to serious violations and abuses of international human rights, international humanitarian law and national laws.
The executions and extrajudicial killings included children, adults, elderly persons, and even persons with physical and mental disabilities.
In Woldiya and its environs of the Amhara region alone, at least 1,181 were killed by the TPLF, it noted.
Also, at least 747 extrajudicial killings were perpetrated by the same group in North Wollo , and 515 in Desse and its environs, the report disclosed.
Together with Shene (the self-styled Oromo Liberation Army (OLA)), TPLF also committed at least 257 extrajudicial killings in North Shewa and 162 extrajudicial killings in the Oromo Nationality Zone of Amhara Regional state, according to the investigation.
The report further revealed that the TPLF committed 124 extrajudicial killings in Jama, Wara Elu and its environs; 108 in the Kombolcha area and its environs; 97 in Debat, Debark woreda of North Gonder Zone; 45 in Lalibela and its environs; 42 in Sekota and its environs; and 57 in Waghmira Zone.
Moreover, the group killed 263 in extrajudicial killings in the Afar Regional State.
In some instances of extrajudicial killings, TPLF fighters directly targeted male family members. For instance, in Amhara Regional State they assassinated five male members of one family in Kewet woreda Yelen kebele.
The committee disclosed that it has also obtained eyewitness testimony demonstrating the horrific immolation of an 80-year-old person by TPLF fighters in Raya Kobo woreda near a church he was guarding.
Since the over 3500 cases demonstrate that they were intentionally directed against civilians, there are reasonable grounds to believe that war crimes were committed, the report said.
“There are strong proofs that the killings against civilians were committed as part of a widespread and systematic attack directed against a civilian population with knowledge, and hence the incidents of violations documented by the IPC constitute crimes against humanity.”
According to the report, the acts constitute intentional and willful killings.
Since access to Tigray remains elusive, however, the committee report only covered the extrajudicial killings in Amhara and Afar Regional States, it was learned.