War crimes against Eritrean refugees in Tigray – rights group

Eritrean refugees were raped, detained and killed by forces in northern Ethiopia, according to a report by the NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW).

The abuses were committed by Eritrean forces who were fighting alongside Ethiopian federal forces in the Tigray region as well as by the Tigrayan forces fighting against them, the international rights group said.

Thousands of Eritrean refugees live in camps in Tigray.

“The horrific killings, rapes and looting against Eritrean refugees in Tigray are clear war crimes,” said Laetitia Bader, the HRW’s Horn of Africa director.

Eritrea has not commented about these recent allegations but has in the past denied any abuses by their forces.

Tigray People’s Liberation Front spokesperson Getachew Reda said uniformed forces recently moved into the area and could not rule out abuses by local “vigilante groups”, the Reuters news agency reports.

He said “there was a huge Eritrean army presence there”, Reuters adds.

Troops fighting in the 10-month conflict have in the past been accused of human rights abuses.

The conflict has led to the death of thousands of people and hundreds of thousands have been forced from their homes.

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