Residents in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region are mourning the death of fighters killed during the two year-long brutal war that ended last year.
It comes as residents are now being told about their family members who were killed during the fighting against Ethiopian troops and their allies, sources from the regional capital, Mekelle, told the BBC.
The war began in November 2020 after the federal government accused militias allied to the regional party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), of attacking its northern command.
Soon after forces from neighbouring Eritrea and regional militias joined the Ethiopian government and fought against Tigrayan forces until a peace deal was signed in Pretoria last year.
‘’Many people in Mekelle have been told of the death of family members. I have participated in a traditional mourning ceremony and a spiritual service in one of the churches. It was heart-breaking,” said one resident.
The resident said they were worried about youths from the area who had joined the army and were not back yet, adding that they will know about their fate next week.
Another resident who travelled to the east and central parts of Tigray said he had seen villagers mourning the death of family members in many places.
The president of the interim Tigray administration, Getachew Reda, told reporters last week that families of deceased soldiers would soon be given information about their kin.
However, the authorities are being blamed for not formally telling families about the death of their loved ones.
Reports say families are being forced to search for the soldiers only to be finally told by army commanders that they are dead.
Both the federal government and TPLF did not disclose how many fighters they lost during the two-year war. All parties were accused committing atrocities in the period.
Though there is now peace in the region, officials there warn that some people are starving after aid agencies suspended food supplies following findings of theft.