War of Words Over Massacre in Ethiopia's Holy City
A war of words has broken out over Eritrea's role in the Ethiopian federal government's assault on its northern Tigray province, in particular on the reported massacre last November of hundreds of unarmed civilians in the holy city of Axum, the capital of the renowned ancient kingdom of that name.
Reports of the massacre were first carried in church media around the world after a Belgian group said in January that the Maryam Tsiyon Church, also known as the Cathedral Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion, had been attacked. Ethiopian Orthodox tradition holds that the cathedral holds the Ark of the Covenant, the chest which held the stone tablets on which the Ten Commandments were written.
Amnesty International (AI) confirmed this week that hundreds had been killed in Axum. The official Ethiopian Human Rights Commission responded that "preliminary findings indicate the killing of an, as yet, unknown number of civilians by Eritrean soldiers in the city of Axum in retaliation for an earlier attack..."
And Agence France Presse reports that an official of the Addis Ababa-appointed regional government in Tigray has blamed troops from a "neighbouring country" - apparently Eritrea - for destroying factories and universities in Tigray state.
But Eritrea's Minister of Information, Yemane G. Meskel, vigorously denied the Amnesty report. Writing on his Twitter account, he said "Eritrea is outraged and categorically rejects the preposterous accusations levelled against it by Amnesty International in a fallacious report... The AI report is transparently unprofessional and it is evident that the AI makes no effort to get the facts right and cross-check the veracity of the allegations."
The city of Axum.
Tigrayans Appeal to International Community
Nation, 26 February 2021
Since the Ethiopian government started a military offensive in Tigray in the northern part of the country, the account of what has been happening in the region has mainly come from… Read more »
Foreign Ministry Says Axum Attack Allegations Will Be Investigated
Ethiopian Herald, 27 February 2021
Following the cold-blooded attack perpetrated by TPLF against the Ethiopian National Defense Forces on 4 November 2020, there was a complete breakdown of law and order in Tigray. Read more »
Amnesty International Rebuffs MoFA's Accusations
Reporter, 27 February 2021
Amnesty International rebuffed accusations by the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) that the methodology it employed in the report it released on incidents in Axum… Read more »
Govt Affirms International Humanitarian Access, Crime Investigation in Tigray
Ethiopian Herald, 27 February 2021
The Government of Ethiopia has provided unfettered access to humanitarian agencies to aid the Tigray State and welcomes international technical assistance and collaboration on… Read more »
Eritrea's Isaias Blames Conflict on 'Ethnic Polarisation' - Interview
Shabait, 26 February 2021
Question 1: The TPLF's massive attack on the Northern Command of the Ethiopian Defence Forces in early November of 2020 has resulted in the removal of the TPLF from power. What… Read more »
U.S. Says Reports of Eritrean Human Rights Abuses in Tigray Are 'Credible'
State Department, 24 February 2021
Statement of the United States of America as delivered by Daniel Kronenfeld to United Nations Human Rights Council 46th Session: Read more »
European Union Statement on Tigray Conflict
European Commission, 10 February 2021
The EU remains very concerned by the tragic humanitarian crisis unfolding in Tigray and its regional implications. Three months into the conflict, despite small openings, the… Read more »
Eritrean troops fighting in Ethiopia's Tigray state systematically killed hundreds of unarmed civilians in the northern city of Axum on November 28 and 29, 2020, opening fire in ... Read more »
Five former ambassadors who led United States representation in Ethiopia for 13 of the past 25 years have issued a call for the U.S. to intensify efforts to address Ethiopia's ... Read more »
Tens of thousands of people are fleeing to Sudan, and Finnish foreign minister Pekka Haavisto warns of a "new refugee drama" in the EU after visiting the Um Rakuba refugee camp in ... Read more »