56 people were killed and 30 wounded, including children, in an Ethiopian army bombardment of a camp for the displaced in Didbet town in the northern Tigray region, according to identical sources.
Getachew Reda, a spokesman for the Tigray Liberation Front, said that the government forces carried out an attack via a drone targeting Didpet camp for the displaced, which led to the death of 56 civilians as an initial outcome.
The spokesman added in a tweet via Twitter that most of the victims are displaced people from western Tigray who fled the recent fighting between government forces and LTTE fighters.
Another callous drone attack by #AbiyAhmed in an #IDP camp in #dedebit has claimed the lives of 56 innocent civilians so far. The saddest part of the story is the victims are people displaced from #WesternTigray by the regime’s genocidal campaign. Double jeopardy at its worst!
— Getachew K Reda (@reda_getachew) January 8, 2022
In a related context, an aid worker confirmed to Reuters today, Saturday, quoting local authorities and witnesses, the death toll from the air strike on a camp for displaced people in Tigray province, in addition to the injury of 30 people.
The agency quoted an aid worker who visited Shire Shul Hospital, where the injured were taken, as saying that the camp, which was bombed late at midnight, is located in Didpet town in Tigray province, near the border with Eritrea, and houses many women and children.
The Ethiopian authorities did not issue an immediate comment regarding what the sources reported about the bombing that targeted the displaced persons camp in Didbet town.
The Tigray region has been witnessing an armed conflict for more than a year, which has claimed thousands of lives. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government has been leading what it called a “counter-offensive” for weeks to reclaim territory from the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front, which it has been fighting since November 2020.
Since the end of last October, both parties have confirmed that great progress has been made on the ground, and the authority in control of some cities has changed several times, but the government has recently succeeded in regaining many of the areas it had lost.
On Friday, the Ethiopian government announced an amnesty for a group of senior politicians imprisoned in the country, considering it “a prelude to a permanent solution to Ethiopia’s problems in a peaceful and national way,” which was welcomed by the United Nations.
Among the most prominent among those involved in the amnesty decision is Jawhar Muhammad, whom his supporters describe as an “icon of the Oromo youth revolution”, who was arrested in July 2020. The decision also included Sabbah Nga, founder of the Tigray Liberation Front, who was arrested in January 2021 following a search operation conducted by the army. After taking control of the city of Mikkeli, the capital of the Tigray region.
The Government Communications Office said – in a statement on Friday – that this step “aims at achieving a better political environment,” considering the amnesty “one of the moral obligations required to achieve successful national reconciliation.”
The pardon decision comes after Abiy Ahmed issued a statement calling for “national reconciliation”, coinciding with Ethiopia’s celebration of “Orthodox Christmas”.