Wednesday 10/20/21

Three Danish aid group employees killed in Ethiopia's Tigray conflict

The circumstances of their death remain unclear.
28 November 2020, Hamburg: Demonstrators hold a banner with the inscription "No War" as they protest against the developing conflict in Ethiopia. Ethiopia's government launched an offensive against the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), which is in power in the northern region of Tigray. Photo: Markus Scholz/dpa
Demonstrators protest in Hamburg (Germany) against the developing conflict in Ethiopia. Photo: Markus Scholz/dpa.

Three employees of the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) were killed in a conflict in the Ethiopian region of Tigray in late November, the organization said on Friday.

The three had worked as security guards as part of a DRC aid project in the region, but the circumstances of their death remain unclear, the humanitarian organization added.

The conflict in Tigray began last month when Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed deployed troops to put down an uprising by a regional political organization, the TPLF.

The TPLF had long dominated Ethiopian politics, but since taking office in 2018, reformist Abiy has been at odds with the elites in Tigray.

Communications blocked

Both sides have reported bloodshed, but an internet blackout and blocked telephone lines make it difficult to get a sense of what is happening on the ground in Tigray.

The DRC said the blackout meant that the families of the slain security guards - reportedly Ethiopian nationals - have yet to be contacted about the incident.

Hundreds have reportedly been killed and tens of thousands of Ethiopians fleeing the fighting have now entered neighbouring Sudan.