Ethiopia's Tigray catastrophe: BBC reporter Girmay Gebru released by military

Girmay Gebru was taken from a café in the regional capital, Mekelle, on Monday, and detained by the military. A local journalist, Tamirat Yemane, and two translators - Alula Akalu and Fitsum Berhane, who were working for the Financial Times and the AFP news agency - have also been freed.

No official reason has been given for their detention.Girmay, who works for BBC Tigrinya, says he is happy to be home after two days in detention.It is not clear whether four of Girmay's neighbours detained alongside him on Monday have also been released.

Ethiopia's government has been fighting regional forces in Tigray since November. After months of an effective media blackout since the start of the conflict in Tigray, the government granted access to some international media organisations last week.

Both AFP and the Financial Times had received permission to visit the region.
Despite this, their workers were detained, which led to condemnation from the international community. The US government joined media rights organisations in calling for the media workers' release.

US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said their detention was inconsistent with the Ethiopian government's commitment to allow international media access to Tigray.

Fighting continues in Tigray despite the government declaring victory over the Tigray People's Liberation Front, which used to be the region's ruling party.
Hundreds have been killed and tens of thousands displaced.

There is international concern over growing reports of atrocities committed by all sides and the worsening humanitarian crisis.An official of Ethiopia's ruling party recently warned that measures would be taken against people they said were "misleading international media".

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