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War Crimes of TPLF in occupied Adarkay Woreda of Amhara Region


Introduction


The Aderkay (Addi Arkay) Woreda (district) is located in the North Gonder Zone of Amhara Region in northern Ethiopia. It is located in the northern Semien Mountains area, bordered by Debark to the southwest, Tegede in the north, and by Telemt in the east. Since late July 2021, most parts of Aderkay Woreda have been under the control of invading forces of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) or Tigrayan forces. The TPLF invaded and occupied Aderkay on July 24, 2021. They controlled the area up until tensions began to escalate around August 23, 2022. On August 24, 2022, TPLF violated the unilateral ceasefire declared by the Ethiopian Government. The ceasefire was a humanitarian truce that hoped to bring some relief to the countless war-ravaged civilian towns of Amhara, Afar, and Tigray Regions. TPLF forces reopened a major offensive in various parts of the Amhara and Afar Regions of Ethiopia. This included Aderkay Woreda, where the TPLF forces opened fire on nearby Ethiopian allied forces. The Tigrayan forces, however, shifted the blame to the Ethiopian allied forces from the start of the war and justified their actions as self-defense. After days of heavy fighting, on September 10, 2022, the Tigrayan forces retreated from Adarkay back to neighbouring woredas.


This report is focused on human rights violations and infrastructural destruction perpetrated by Tigrayan forces between July 24, 2021, and September 10, 2022. The TPLF military occupation of Aderkay Woreda was marked by the execution of civilians, the shelling of civilians and civilian objects, and rape. The TPLF forces also engaged in widespread looting and destruction of both public and private properties. These included specially protected sites such as religious institutions. Basic public services like banking, telecommunication, and electricity have been unavailable in Aderkay ever since the woreda fell under the control of Tigrayan forces. In addition to communication blackouts, residents of Aderkay have not had any access to humanitarian aid. As a result, residents have been forced to flee en masse to the surrounding towns of Debark and Zarima.