Ethiopia: UN chief condemns air strike on Tigray market

Antonio Guterres

United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, on Friday condemned the air strike on a busy market in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region.

The market in Togoga, a village in northern Ethiopia’s Tigray Region, was hit by an air strike on Tuesday.

Spokesman for the Secretary-General, Stéphane Dujarric, said the secretary-general strongly condemned the air strike on the village of Togoga in the Tigray region of Ethiopia on 22 June, which was reported to have killed many civilians.

“He expresses his deepest condolences to the families of the victims.

“The Secretary-General reiterates the need for all parties to uphold their responsibilities under international humanitarian and human rights law and to ensure the protection of civilians.

“He calls for an independent and swift investigation into this incident.

“The secretary-general once again calls for an immediate end to the fighting and for urgent steps to peacefully resolve the conflict,’’ he said.

There were many people in the market, between 3000-5000 people from the wider surroundings (up to 15-20 km away), all people are on foot, according to reports.

The market is a weekly market, but in June there are always many people in the market because it is sowing time, and people come to exchange or buy seed.

This was the first market day after the Ethiopian and Eritrean armies had retreated from the area under pressure of the Tigray Defense Forces.

The bombardment was around noon; markets start around 9 a.m. in Tigray as people need to travel on foot to the town – at noon the number of people in the market was at its maximum.

Since Derg time, markets had not been a target of air bombardments, also not in this war, and the bombardment came unexpected.

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