According to the BBC, the Amhara militias that occupy the western region of Tigray are responsible for an ethnic cleansing operation against the Tigrinya population, with the intent to permanently occupy the region.

Local witnesses, moreover, would have declared to have witnessed a summary attempt to destroy all evidence of crimes committed on the spot, burning hundreds of bodies of civilians killed during the military operations conducted by the Fano militias and those of the regional state of Amhara.

The operation would have been necessary in fear of the possible entry into the region of an independent commission of inquiry led by the United Nations, under the supervision of former prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Fatou Bensouda.

The United Nations approved the funding of the investigation mission last March, although Russia and China voted against, while the Ethiopian government declared itself against the mission considering it an instrument of political pressure.

The exhumation of the bodies from the mass graves and their destruction would have been hastily started as a consequence of the fear of a possible acceleration in the organization of the UN mission. The operations would have started on April 4, only three days after the approval of the funding of the mission, and would have interested mainly the area of the city of Humera and that of Adebay.

Testimonies collected by the BBC accused the Amhara militias of digging up hundreds of bodies from several mass graves, burning the remains and then transporting any evidence outside the area potentially affected by the inspection mission.

The Amhara authorities admitted to initiating a campaign to exhume bodies from mass graves, albeit with the intent of proceeding to identify them and accusing Tigray of being responsible for the killing of civilians. These searches would have been conducted with the help of the University of Gondar, which corroborated the version of the Amhara authorities.


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