A criminal investigation conducted by Federal Prosecutors and Police, in collaboration with Amhara and Afar regional state authorities, revealed a heinous crimes report committed by forces of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) during their invasion into these regions.
State Minister of Justice, Fikadu Tsega and deputy head of criminal investigation of the Federal Police, Mulisa Abdisa, presented their findings to selected government Media institutions on Friday, October 29, 2021.
The report exposed several types of atrocity crimes including rape, torture, killings, looting, and property destruction.
Thus, according to the report, TPLF forces, following the federal government’s declaration of a unilateral humanitarian ceasefire in June 2021, launched a large-scale offensive against these two regions.
The investigation covers areas of Amhara Region including; South Gonder Zone: Laye Gayenet Woreda, Nefas Mewecha city administration, Guna Begemeder Woreda, Farta Woreda, Este Woreda (partially), and parts of Debre Tabor City Administration.
Similarly, the preliminary report investigated and was compiled from areas of North Gondar Zone: Dabat, Debarq, and Zarima sub-woredas and in Internally Displaced People’s camps of Galicoma Kebele, Uwa, Awra, and Gulina woredas; and Fenterus Zone of Afar regional states.
The investigation began on September 15, 2021, soon after these areas were recaptured by federal and state security forces, which were initially invaded by TPLF forces.
The investigation team received statements and testimonies from 790 victims and witnesses in South Gondar, 285 in North Gondar Zone, and 148 in the Afar Region, the report indicated.
In addition, according to the report, the inquiry teams were also able to gather documentary evidence, circumstantial/descriptive evidence, exhibits, and technical evidence pertaining to serious crimes committed against civilians.
Hence, in North Gonder Zone, TPLF forces killed 96 civilians, injured 53, raped 29 women, subjected 11 civilians to inhumane treatment that could amount to torture, kidnapped 6 civilians, conducted systematic and extensive looting of public and private property as well as sacred items from religious institutions, the report noted.
Equally, in South Gondar Zone, 130 civilians were killed, 54 injured, 73 women raped in Nefas Mewecha town alone and an attack held on September 4, 2021 on Galicoma Kebele in Afar Region that targeted an IDP shelter killed 240 civilians and injured 42.
According to the report, TPLF forces also killed 17 civilians, injured 17, and raped 7 women across three woredas.
Furthermore, the report mentioned that in both Amhara and Afar regions, the TPLF has committed widespread and systematic looting and destruction of public and private institutions, including schools, health posts, cooperatives, churches, mosques, and offices of non-governmental organizations.
The report pointed out that these crimes were motivated by animus and hatred towards their victims simply because of their ethnic identity.
In this regard, the investigation report stated that TPLF leaders have given a command to their foot soldiers to inflict as much economic and moral harm against members of certain ethnic communities.
The report also included ‘gang rape’ by members of TPLF forces and indicated that nuns and wives of priests were raped with intent to desecrate the religious, cultural values and dignity of the people.
The report also disclosed the murder of a 30-day old infant and a 70-year old person, the killing of six members of a single family, and religious leaders killed in churches and mosques.
According to the report, property worth billions of Ethiopian Birr has been looted and destroyed while a large number of people are displaced.