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The Weeknd donates $ 1 million to Ethiopians in conflict

The singer has become one of the biggest stars of the charts of the last decade

R&B singer The Weeknd has pledged to donate $ 1million (£ 700,000) to Ethiopians caught up in the Tigray conflict.

The star, born Abel Tesfaye in Canada, is the son of Ethiopian immigrants.

“My heart breaks for my Ethiopian people as innocent civilians ranging from small children to the elderly are senselessly murdered,” he said.

Fighting between the Ethiopian army and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) began in November and left millions homeless.

The fighting began when Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed sent forces to the Tigray region after accusing the TPLF of attacking a government military base.

The TPLF was the ruling party in the region, but fell out with Mr. Abiy over his efforts to increase the power of the central government.

Last week, a BBC Africa Eye investigation uncovered evidence suggesting the Ethiopian military carried out a massacre in Tigray, killing at least 15 men.

So far, more than two million people have left their homes to escape the fighting, according to the interim Tigray administration.

It left more than four million people in need of help, they added.

The Weeknd said on Twitter and Instagram that his $ 1 million donation would go to the UN World Food Program to pay for two million meals.

The singer has grown into one of the biggest chart stars of the past decade with hits such as Blinding Lights.

He has spoken of his Ethiopian heritage before, telling Rolling Stone magazine in 2015 that his grandmother would take him to services at their Ethiopian Orthodox church in Canada, that his mother tongue was Amharic, and that his vocal style was influenced by Ethiopian singer Aster Aweke. .

Learn more about the conflict in Tigray:

The conflict in Tigray has spread across international borders as forces from neighboring Eritrea joined with Ethiopian government troops to fight the TPLF.

Eritrean troops have reportedly started withdrawing after the industrialized group of the G7 asked them to do so on April 2.

The G7 group also said it was “deeply concerned” by reports of human rights violations in Tigray. These include massacres of civilians, sexual violence, looting and abuse of refugees.

The Ethiopian prime minister has previously denied that civilians were killed.

The Tigrayan forces, meanwhile, have also been accused of human rights violations.

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