Ghent University‘s Department of Geography has conducted research and development activities in Tigray, northern Ethiopia, for many years. When the armed conflict emerged in November 2020, staff and volunteers at the university began documenting the humanitarian situation, including details of massacres and civilian casualties. In October 2021, this research was published as ‘Tigray: Atlas of the Humanitarian Situation’.
In September 2021, Every Casualty partnered with Ghent University and the Department of Geography to provide specialised training and other resources to further develop their research on casualties in Tigray. This collaboration has led to the creation of a regularly updated, publicly available database of civilian casualty records, available at EthiopiaTigrayWar.com. The Department of Geography has now published an analysis of these casualty records, ‘Tigray: One year of conflict‘.
The report authors emphasise that the media blackout and lockdown of the Tigray region pose major obstacles to collecting and verifying information on casualties. Researchers gathered details through traditional and social media, direct contact with relatives and friends of the deceased, and NGO reports. However, they reiterate that the casualties recorded here should be viewed as an ‘extreme underrepresentation’ of the total number of fatalities.