On 19 January, “Every Casualty Counts” and the Royal Holloway University of London organised a webinar on casualty recording in Tigray. We presented our average estimate of a total number of civilian deaths in Tigray of 518k (with a lower estimate of 311k and an upper estimate of 808k) between 4 November 2020 and 31 December 2022.

Since the beginning of 2023, there has been further fighting and the civilian deaths need revising upwards. Of these, approximately 10% would be due to massacres, bomb impacts and other killings; 30% due to the total collapse of the healthcare system; and 60% due to famine.

This is certainly not the final overall figure for the entire war. This estimate, indeed, does not include civilian victims in the Afar or Amhara regions, nor battlefield deaths (Ethiopian, Eritrean, Amhara, Tigray and Somali soldiers). For these reasons, several estimates of the death toll are considerably higher than ours. The 800k death toll mentioned by High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, appears plausible.

Further reading:

Jan Nyssen 
Em. Senior Full Professor 
Department of Geography
Ghent University