8,500 Tigrayans illegally detained in camps

The conflict in Tigray began in November 2020 when Abiy Ahmed sent the federal army there to dislodge the region’s leaders – from the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) – who challenged his authority and whom he accused of attacking federal army bases there.

The conflict then spilled over into the neighbouring Amhara and Afar regions in 2021, after the TPLF regained control of almost all of Tigray.

More than 8590 Ethiopians from Tigray, a region in conflict with the government, have been detained for six months in two camps “without a legal basis”.

The official Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) on Wednesday demanded the immediate release of 8560 Ethiopians from Tigray, a region in conflict with the federal government, who have been detained for six months in two camps “without legal basis and in a discriminatory manner”.

According to the EHRC, a public but statutorily independent institution, these people – men, women and children – have been held since December in two camps in Semera, capital of the Afar region bordering Tigray, with the families separated, men and women not being held together.

These individuals “were subjected to arbitrary and unlawful arrests based on their ethnicity (…) and should therefore be released immediately,” Commission chief Daniel Bekele said in a statement.