Accountability for Starvation Deaths in Tigray Six Months after the War

Ethiopia’s 2020-22 civil war in Tigray, the country’s northernmost region, was one of the most brutal wars of the twenty-first century. Hundreds of thousands of people were killed in the fighting. In stark violation of international humanitarian law, an Ethiopian government de facto blockade of the region and denial of humanitarian aid to people in need led to the deaths from starvation of another estimated 380,000 to 600,000 people.

In March, the State Department released its determination that all parties to the conflict had committed war crimes and that some had committed crimes against humanity. Noticeably absent was any mention of starvation crimes and violations of international humanitarian law committed by members of the civilian leadership of the Ethiopian government.

Refugees International hosted a webinar on the humanitarian situation in Tigray, starvation crimes during the war, and options for accountability on Friday, June 23.


Jeremy Konyndyk, President, Refugees International


Sarah Miller, Senior Fellow, Refugees International


Mark Lowcock, Senior Fellow at CGD and former Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs

Mulugeta Gebrehiwot, Senior Fellow, World Peace Foundation, Tufts University

Sareta Ashraph, Senior Legal Consultant, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide

Concluding Remarks:

Abdullahi Boru Halakhe, Senior Advocate for East and Southern Africa, Refugees International

Featured image: A woman stands in a metal sheet room that was damaged by shelling, in Humera, Ethiopia, on November 22, 2020. (Photo by EDUARDO SOTERAS/AFP via Getty Images)