Ethiopia denies using banned chemical weapons in Tigray

Tuesday May 25 2021
Abiy Ahmed.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed speaks at the House of Peoples Representatives in Addis Ababa on November 30, 2020. Ethiopia has denied a news report alleging that chemical weapons are being used in the troubled Tigray region. PHOTO | AFP


The Ethiopian government on Monday denied a news report alleging that chemical weapons are being used in the troubled Tigray region.

The report published by UK newspaper The Telegraph says, “civilians in northern Ethiopia have suffered horrific burns consistent with the use of white phosphorus”, a potential war crime.

The report also said that the army used banned firearms in areas inhabited by civilians.

The Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs denied the allegations that the Ethiopian and Eritrean forces had used chemical weapons in Tigray.

It said the newspaper report is “dangerous and irresponsible.”

“Ethiopia has not employed and will never use such banned munitions because it takes its international obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention extremely seriously,” it said in a statement.


“As a country that has been attacked by chemical weapons, Ethiopia opposes the use of chemical weapons by anyone, in any country.”

Ethiopia is a signatory of the Chemical Weapons Convention, which bans the use of weapons such as mustard gas.

The Ministry added that the Ethiopian government has already informed the international community about the “malicious and irresponsible” report, accusing the publication of wanting to fuel further tension.

“It cannot be seen any different from the ongoing effort to ratchet up pressure against the Ethiopian government,” it said.

Addis Ababa has accused various countries, including the US, of interfering in Ethiopia's internal affairs.

The government has also stated that it will not accept any attempt to pressure Ethiopia.

Diplomatic relations between Ethiopia and the US have been strained and 5the US has imposed travel bans on Ethiopian and Eritrean officials, military and security officials, Amhara regional forces and Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) members.