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War in Tigray killed 600,000 – AU mediator

Author: BBC | Published: Monday, January 16, 2023

The number of the people who died in the Tigray conflict is difficult to verify

The African Union mediator in Ethiopia’s Tigray conflict, Olusegun Obasanjo, has told the Financial Times (FT) that up to 600,000 people may have died in the two-year war.

In an interview with the paper, Mr Obasanjo said the number of the dead was “around 600,000”.

The number of people who died in the conflict is difficult to verify. Researchers have previously estimated the deaths to be in the hundreds of thousands.

On Sunday, the FT quoted the head of Ethiopia’s human rights commission, Daniel Bekele, as saying that estimates given by all sides needed to be treated with caution as it was impossible “to know the full number of casualties”.

The conflict started in November 2020, when Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed ordered a military offensive against regional forces in Tigray – which he said was a response to an attack on a military base housing government troops.

Last November the Ethiopian government and Tigray rebels signed a ceasefire agreement ending the war.

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