Guterres condemns airstrike on civilians in Ethiopia’s Tigray

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has strongly condemned an airstrike on a village in Ethiopia’s conflict-hit Tigray region, which reportedly killed many civilians.

Guterres expressed his deepest condolences to the families of the victims and reiterated the need for all parties to uphold their responsibilities under international humanitarian law and international human rights law and to ensure the protection of civilians, Stephane Dujarric, the UN chief’s spokesman, said on Friday.

Guterres called for an independent and swift investigation into this incident, reiterating the need for an immediate end to the fighting in Tigray as well as urgent steps to peacefully resolve the conflict.

Since November 2020, the Ethiopian government has been undertaking military operations against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, which ruled the region.

Earlier on Friday, acting UN Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Ramesh Rajasingham expressed outrage over the killing of three staff members of Doctors Without Borders in Tigray.

“Reports that three Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF, or Doctors Without Borders) staff members have been killed in Tigray are outrageous and saddening,” he said in a statement.

“I strongly condemn all attacks directed against humanitarian workers. Humanitarian workers, like all civilians, must be respected and protected. Authorities must now promptly investigate these reports of serious violations of international humanitarian law.”

The trio was traveling on Thursday afternoon when the MSF lost contact with them. On Friday morning, their vehicle was found empty and their lifeless bodies were lying a few meters away, said the MSF in a press release.

On Friday morning, their vehicle was found empty and their bodies were lying a few meters away, the MSF confirmed.

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