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Ethiopians from Tigray protest outside US embassy in Pretoria

Ethiopians from the Tigrayan region living in South Africa hold placards while they protest outside the US Embassy in Pretoria on January 26, 2022.   -  
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PHILL MAGAKOE/AFP or licensors

Tigray Region

Ethiopians from the Tigrayan region living in South Africa demanded the withdrawal of the Ethiopian forces from Tigray and an independent international investigation into allegations of war crimes being committed in the restive region.

The protesters gathered around the U.S embassy and European Union-s building in Pretoria on Wednesday.

"In Tigray it's very bad, there's no food there no any communication, there is no medication. People are dying due to lack of medication, they are starving, children are starving. It's very devastating," a protester said.

"The Ethiopian regime is actually misleading the world that it's stopped from entering Tigray but they are actually in Tigray and there are ongoing fights," another protester said.

Meanwhile, Ethiopia’s Council of Ministers has proposed ending the country’s six-month state of emergency now, citing recent developments in the war that has raged in the Tigray and neighboring regions for over a year. 

Wednesday’s proposal to end the state of emergency that was declared in early November must be approved by lawmakers. The proposal was announced by the government on social media.

The state of emergency was imposed as Tigray forces fighting Ethiopian and allied forces moved closer to the capital, Addis Ababa. They withdrew back into the northern Tigray region late last month under pressure from a drone-supported military offensive.

Witnesses, lawyers and human rights groups have said that thousands of ethnic Tigrayans were held under the state of emergency’s sweeping powers of detention. An unknown number have been released after the shift in the war late last month.

Ethiopia’s government has sought to restrict reporting on the conflict and detained some journalists, including a video freelancer accredited to the AP, Amir Aman Kiyaro.