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Ethiopia state media shows alleged Tigrayan prisoners of war Open in fullscreen

The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Ethiopia state media shows alleged Tigrayan prisoners of war

Ethiopian refugees who fled fighting in Tigray province [Getty]

Date of publication: 19 November, 2020

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Violence in Tigray prompted thousands to flee to neighbouring Sudan.

Ethiopian state media has broadcast video of what they claim to be Tigrayan prisoners of war.

The video showed a group of men and women that state media described as captured Tigrayan special forces.

It was not immediately possible to verify the status of the people shown in the video or the circumstances under which they were filmed.

The development came as government forces continued their clash with troops from Tigray, a rebellious region in northern Ethiopia.

"When people with the same attitude as his (World Health Organisation chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus) went to war, what do you expect from him?,” said Berhanu Jula, Chief of General Staff, Ethiopian National Defence Force.

"We do not expect him to stand with the people of Ethiopia and denounce these people. He has left no stone unturned to help them, though whether he will succeed or not is another thing.

"He has also campaigned in neighbouring countries asking them to oppose and condemn the war. He has worked so that they get weapons."

On Wednesday, Ethiopia’s army chief accused the head of the World Health Organization, a fellow Ethiopian, of lobbying neighbouring countries to provide arms and other support to Tigray.

He did not cite any evidence.

Jula added: "We will advance to Axum and Adwa and on towards Zalambessa (front). We will move forward to Edaga Hamus and Wukro and on the eastern front, we will advance to Mekele. We will finalise the one on the Raya front. The plan is to work towards pushing the enemy into a circle."

The Tigrayan leader, in turn, accused Ethiopia of receiving help - including drones - from other countries. He didn't offer any evidence either.

The Tigray region remains largely cut off from the world, with communications and transport links severed, making it difficult to verify either side’s claims about what is happening there.

No one knows how many people have been killed, and some 30,000 refugees have streamed into Sudan.

The conflict threatens to tear apart Africa's second most populous country and destabilize the strategic Horn of Africa region.

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