Ethiopia.. kidnappings and looting in the Tigray region after the armistice

Allies of the Ethiopian federal army are looting properties and carrying out mass arrests in the Tigray region, according to eyewitnesses and aid workers.

The reports raise fresh concerns over alleged atrocities more than three weeks after the parties in war signed a truce that diplomats and others hope will end suffering in the region in war of more than 5 million people.

The Tigray region is still in largely isolated from the rest of Ethiopia, despite the resumption of aid deliveries to the region after the signing of the ceasefire agreement on 2 November in South Africa.

Eritreans and other forces from Ethiopia’s neighboring Amhara state – which fought alongside the Ethiopian federal army in the Tigray conflict – looted businesses, property privatevehicles and clinics in the northwestern city of Shire, which was seized by Tigrayan forces last month, relief workers told the Associated Press, in condition of anonymity, for security reasons.

They added that Eritrean forces have kidnapped several young men in Shire.

One reported witnessing the detention of “more than 300 young men” by Ethiopian federal forces as part of several waves of mass arrests following the seizure of Shire, which is home to large numbers of internally displaced people.

“There are detention centers in the entire city. Ethiopian federal forces are also detaining people believed to be linked to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Tigray,” said an aid worker from the political party that has spearheaded the war against the federal government.

Civilians accused of aiding Tigrayan forces have been arrested in the southern city of Alamata, according to a resident there, who said Amhara forces arrested several of his friends.

A former regional official said Amhara forces were also carrying out “mass arrests” in the town of Korem, about 20 kilometers north of Alamata, and surrounding rural areas.

The continued presence of Eritrean forces in Tigray remains a sore point in the process pace in course and the United States has requested its withdrawal from the region.

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