An airstrike in Ethiopia’s northern region of Tigray on Monday killed at least 17 people, mostly women, and wounded dozens in the town of Mai Tsebri, two aid workers told Reuters, citing local authorities and eyewitnesses.
This followed an airstrike that killed 56 people and injured 30, including children, in a camp for displaced people in Tigray on Friday. US President Joe Biden raised concerns with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Monday about civilian casualties and suffering caused by airstrikes. Ethiopian military spokesperson Colonel Getnet Adane and government spokesperson Legesse Tulu did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the Mai Tsebri strike.
The government has previously denied targeting civilians in the 14-month conflict, which pits Abiy’s federal forces and their regional allies, backed by Eritrea, against rebellious forces of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). Abiy’s appointment as prime minister in 2018 ended 27 years of TPLF dominance over Ethiopia’s central government. But the party stayed in power in its home region of Tigray, where fighting erupted in November 2020.
Each side blames the other. The TPLF accuses Abiy of centralising power at the expense of the regions, which he denies, while Abiy accuses the TPLF of seeking to return to power at the national level, which it rejects.