Somali troops have been present at the front lines of the conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, reported the United Nations human rights council.
“In addition to reports of the involvement of Eritrean troops in the Tigray conflict, the special rapporteur also received information and reports that Somali soldiers were moved from military training camps in Eritrea to the front line in Tigray, where they accompanied Eritrean troops as they crossed the Ethiopian border,” the report said.
However, obtaining specific details about the situation in Tigray and the extent to which various parties are involved has been difficult as there is very little access to the region. The United Nations has for some time now called for an independent investigation into reported atrocities in the region.
The document from the United Nations mentions credible reports claiming that Somali soldiers have been taken to the frontlines in Tigray, including the city of Aksum which has been subject to indiscriminate shellings and reported civilian massacres.
The report from the United Nations alleges that Eritrean forces in Tigray are guilty of “deliberate attacks against civilians and summary executions, indiscriminate attacks, sexual and gender-based violence, arbitrary detention, destruction and looting of civilian property and displacement and abduction of Eritrean refugees and asylum seekers.”
As the humanitarian situation in Tigray further deteriorates, pressure from the international community continues to mount for a complete cessation of hostilities, withdrawal of Eritrean troops, and Ethiopian cooperation with humanitarian efforts to the region.
According to the United Nations, more than 350,000 people in Tigray are currently suffering famine conditions and millions more are at risk. As time drags on without a de-escalation of hostilities, the scope and likelihood of looming famine in the region continues to grow more devastating.