Thousands of Ethiopians have flooded into neighbouring Sudan fleeing from gross ethnic cleansing ongoing in a fighting between Ethiopian government forces and rebellious northern leaders. The United Nations says more than 14,000 “exhausted and scared” refugees have fled the Tigray region to Sudan.
Reports indicate that Ethnic Amharas are being ruthlessly killed while Ethnic Tigrayans arrested, in hiding or cut off from the world.
Amnesty International confirmed the killings via images and witnesses, and the United Nations warned of possible war crimes. Most of the dead were ethnic Amharas, according to a man who helped clear the bodies away and looked at identity cards.
The United Nations fears that the 10-day conflict in Tigray region has killed hundreds, sent refugees flooding into Sudan, and raised fears it may suck in Eritrea or force Ethiopia to divert troops from an African force opposing al Qaeda-linked militants in Somalia.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed blames the massacre on forces loyal to the Tigray region’s government, which his administration regards as illegal after a months-long falling-out. The federal government seeks to arrest and replace its leaders.
Prime Minister Abiy accuses the regional government of “unceasing hate and fear propaganda.” On Friday, speaking in the Tigrinya language, he urged its forces to surrender “in the next two to three days.”
He also accuses the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which rules the mountainous region of more than five million people, of treason and terrorism.
The U.N. office on genocide prevention condemned reports of ”targeted attacks against civilians based on their ethnicity or religion” in Ethiopia, including hate speech and incitement to violence. It warned that ethnic violence “has reached an alarming level over the past two years,” and the new rhetoric sets a “dangerous trajectory that heightens the risk of genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.”