Ethiopia Tigrayan rebels accused of ‘violating rights’

Image copyright AFP/Getty Image caption The Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front has fought a decades-long fight against Ethiopian authorities

Ethiopian Tigrayan rebels have been accused of violating “human rights and international humanitarian law” during a recent operation against rebels in the country’s south.

The new accusations follow claims last month that rebel fighters raped 20 women during a military operation in northern Ethiopia.

Human rights group Amnesty International said fighting between the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and its Oromo opposition group in recent weeks had left around 12,000 people dead.

Both groups are influential ethnic groups in the Horn of Africa country.

“Ethiopian government forces need to be held accountable for crimes they commit, including the ongoing killings, rapes and other human rights violations by Tigrayan rebels and their allies,” said Amnesty’s Eritrean researcher, Hagos Gebrhiwet.

“Through their acts, the rebel movement has caused irreparable damage to the fight against human rights in Ethiopia.”

Officials of the rebel group, the TPLF, have not yet commented on the new charges.

The Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front has fought a decades-long war against Ethiopian authorities, demanding more autonomy.

The rebels allegedly used weapons including mortars, machine guns and anti-personnel mines in their ongoing operations against Oromo opposition groups.

In a recent peace deal with Ethiopia’s government, the Oromo rebel group, the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), also agreed to pull out of the country.

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