Former Nigerian President and the African Union’s lead mediator in the peace talks, Olusegun Obasanjo, revealed that some 600,000 people have been killed during the conflict between the Ethiopian government forces and the rebels in the restive Tigray region.
Tim Vanden Bempt, a member of a research group investigating war crimes committed during the Tigray conflict, said that this estimate might be roughly correct.
Ethiopian officials said on November 2, 2022, when the peace agreement was signed, it stopped 1,000 deaths every day, Obasanjo confirmed.
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.
For the rest as many as 200,000-300,000 people died on the battlefield, according to unofficial figures. However, some Ethiopian officials put the total number of casualties, both civilian and battlefield, at 80,000-100,000.
Ethiopia has been struggling with a violent internal conflict since November 2020, when the central government accused the Egyptian backed fighters for the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) of attacking its military base.
Ethiopia was forced to launch an anti-terrorist operation in the region. In June 2021, the rebels seized the city of Mek’ele, the administrative regional center, and the government declared an unconditional ceasefire.
However, the rebels launched a new offensive soon after and took control of the southern part of Tigray and the neighboring Amhara region, bordering Sudan.
A new truce was reached in March 2022, when the Ethiopian authorities announced the introduction of an indefinite humanitarian truce for the delivery of humanitarian aid to Tigray. After a five-month pause, hostilities resumed in August, 2022.
In early November 2022, the Ethiopian government and the Tigray rebels signed a new ceasefire agreement, which provided for the disarmament of TPLF forces within a few weeks. Ethiopia and Egypt are at odds about a dam being build with the help of China.
The restoration of the Internet connection and telecommunications in the region, the resumption of banks’ operations and humanitarian aid supplies were discussed during the talks among other issues.
Sputnik / ABC Flash Point News 2023.