A kindergarten in the unrest-ridden Tigray area of the country was attacked by an airstrike by Ethiopia’s air force on Friday, leaving dead and injured. The most recent escalation in a conflict has rendered millions of people in need of humanitarian aid.
The government will “take action targeting the military forces that are the wellspring of the anti-peace sentiment of the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front,” according to a statement released Friday by Ethiopia’s Government Communications Service. It issued a warning, telling Tigray civilians to stay away from military equipment and training areas used by Tigray soldiers. As fighting between Ethiopian federal forces and fighters from Tigray has restarted, rumors of a kindergarten attack have emerged. Both sides have accused one another of restarting the conflict after a ceasefire in hostilities since June 2021 on Wednesday.
Tigray, the second-most populous country in Africa, is home to more than 115 million people. Since the country’s unrest began in November 2020, thousands of people have been killed. The fighting had stopped in recent months despite ineffective mediation efforts. The Tigrayan government was “refusing to accept peace discussions,” the spokesperson for Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said in a media statement last week. Although the Ethiopian government has said it is ready for talks, it is determined that the African Union should be in charge of the mediation process. Authorities in Tigray have denounced the African Union’s efforts and immediately called for the restoration of services like banking, telephone service, and other services that have been cut off since the war began. Following Friday’s airstrike, Tigrayan officials released a statement claiming that the federal government was not interested in peace talks.
Witnesses said the Mekele, the capital of Tigray, kindergarten red kids’ paradise, was the afternoon attack’s target. In the wake of the incident, it broadcasts gruesome images of children and people holding severed remains. According to witnesses, homes near the kindergarten were also damaged during the strike. Officials from Tigray explained the airstrike as “a cruel, vicious” attack. In a statement, they claimed that “this wicked dictatorship has exceeded itself with today’s premeditated bombing of a children’s building.”
Tigray officials did not specify the number of fatalities from the airstrike in their statement. Although, Kibrom Gebreselassie, the director of Mekele’s Ayder hospital, stated on Twitter that two children were among the at least four fatalities. More victims are showing up. He stated that there are currently 13 patients in our hospital as a whole. Millions of people in the Amhara and surrounding Afar regions have been impacted by the violence, and thousands of Tigrayans currently reside in refugee camps in Sudan.