Here are the massacres in Tigray. Witnesses: priests and civilians horribly slaughtered

Source: Avenier

The massacres in Tigray. Witnesses: priests and civilians horribly slaughtered


Paolo Lambruschi on Sunday 14 February 2021
The confirmations of the witnesses of the massacres: thirty priests killed by soldiers in the church in Irob in January. Almost two hundred people, among them women and children, died in the bombings

A young Tigrinya woman displaced in Qadarif, Suda

A young Tigrinya woman displaced in Qadarif, in Suda – LaPresse

And the mass rapes, killings and forced deportations to Eritrea of ​​Eritrean refugees from the Hitsats and Shimelba camps, which satellite images have shown destroyed and which in recent days the Addis Ababa government has declared that it no longer wants to reopen while the The UN was no longer able to access it. The information provided to us by Catholic sources, which we do not mention for security reasons, is unequivocal. In Irob, a semi-desert plain bordering the Afar region and Eritrea, 30 Coptic Orthodox priests praying in church were killed in January alone. Wukro, Adigrat and Kobo lack food and medicine.

Chilling stories of the killings of very young people under the eyes of their parents, one hundred only in Irob, and of the frequent sexual violence against women and girls even in front of their husbands, often followed by the merciless killing of the victims. “Better to kill the women of Tigray because tomorrow they will give birth to the woyane (members of the Tplf, ed) ” the Eritrean military would have said to those who asked why so much hatred. At the end of January, also in Irob, Ethiopians and Eritreans killed 50 “wives of the Woyane”. On Friday for the first time, the Ethiopian government, with a tweet from the women’s minister Filsan Abdullahi Ahmed, admitted that a government task force “unfortunately has established that the sexual violence took place with certainty and without any doubt”.

Filsan did not specify who was responsible, but many women claim to have been raped by Eritrean forces, the Shabia, soldiers in plastic sandals who were ordered to also eliminate Tigrinya males over the age of six, prohibiting their burial. The NGO Human Rights Watch’s accusation against federal and Eritrean troops was circumstantiated: in November they allegedly bombed schools, hospitals, churches and markets in Humera, Macallè and Scire, killing 187 civilians including women and children and injuring over 300.

Religious symbols were not spared. K. witnessed the bombing of the St. Amanuel Orthodox Church in the mountaintop village of Negash on November 23 and 24 by Isaias Afewerki’s tanks and heavy artillery. Catholic missions and convents were also looted, often religious men and women were even robbed of crucifixes worn around their necks. The federal army and especially the Eritrean allies – bitter enemies of the Tplf, the hegemonic party of the Tigris – still in Tigrinya territory, are on the dock. Presence denied by the Asmara regime and the Ethiopian government (but admitted by local authorities and federal commanders) even in recent days, when the US and the EU asked Eritrea to immediately withdraw the soldiers, guilty of unspeakable violence, and the establishment of an independent commission of inquiry. Which will also have to face the drama of the deported Eritrean refugees, probably 10 thousand.


For the first time, the Addis Ababa government recognizes the sexual violence that took place in the fighting area Italian Caritas: after a hundred days of war we are always alongside the population


​The UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi instead denounced the disappearance of 20,000 Eritrean refugees out of the 96,000 under Ethiopian protection in four camps in Tigray. We managed to contact some fugitives in Macalle by telephone to reconstruct the facts. “On November 20, around eight in the evening, the Shabias arrived – says Kidane, 28, who has been in Hitsats for two – we recognized them by their uniform. They fired on those who could not escape such as refugee elders, women and children, killing them and capturing many people. I saw Hitsats destroyed and escaped. Along the way I saw many corpses ». Shimelba, a camp of 8,500 Eritreans of the Cunama ethnic group, was destroyed in early January. «But on the evening of November 26th he shabia himthey surrounded the camp and raided – recalls Haddar. 30 years – warning us not to run away.

They distributed 5 kilos of flour per person, then called the 5 leaders of the camp to meet them and asked how many we were. They took them away and before leaving they shot 5 Tplf guardians, preventing us from burying them. Anyone who wanted could leave, in Tigrai or Eritrea, but not stay. The next day, the Tigrinya militias returned, telling us to stay and guaranteeing protection. But when the Eritreans returned on January 5, they fled. Isaias’s army started burning everything and killing women and children as well. Those who failed to escape, the majority, were deported on foot to Shiraro and from there by truck to Eritrea, to Shambuko ».

What fate has befallen the deportees in Eritrea? Several sources complete Haddar’s account by proving that yet another crime has been committed. Cunama refugees are prisoners in reception camps waiting for Covid to pass. I’m in a sorry state because I’ve been undernourished for weeks. The regime wants to send young people to training camps for the lifelong conscription from which they fled. The others, once the pandemic is over, will return to the villages. Faced with this forgotten tragedy, Caritas Italian has called for solidarity by launching a fundraiser to support the aid program of Caritas Ethiopia to guarantee food for malnourished children, the distribution of survival kits and the delivery of seeds and animals to displaced families who have lost everything.

12 comments

  1. In spite of all those facts on the ground, why is the UN in complete silence? There should be an immediate UN force deployed to Tigray to prevent the massacre if Eritrean forces are not out.

  2. God is silent, for Ethiopia has folded her arms. The UN has kept mum, while powerful nations have only been churning out a litany of phrases, such as “deeply concerned”; deeply worrying”, and “deeply alarmed.” In the footsteps of Agu, the child soldier, a major fictional character in Beasts of No Nation, massacres are being perpetrated by Genocidal soldiers in Tigray. Who let out these beasts out!

    1. Zekre speaks the truth. In addition to a cease-fire enforced by U.N. troops, if Ethiopians, Tigrayanm, and Eritreans refuse to negotiate, the U.S., Australia and E.U. should demand that Eritrea troops leave the conflict zone by a date certain (say, March 31). After that, all trade to Eritrea would be embargoed.

  3. I am concerned to my people in Tigray !!! Everyday is worsen!!! There are people murdered by Ethiopian and Eritrean troops!!!
    In spite of all those facts on the ground, why is the UN in complete silence? There should be an immediate UN force to the Eritrean troops out of Tigray to prevent the Genocide , raps!!!
    Please we need immediate action before it is to late!!! So far , I already lost 3 my childhood friends , 1 priest from my childhood church . I don’t even know where the rest of my family because of the phone line blockage !!! Please be there for the Tigray people and for my family as well!!! Thank you!!!

  4. If the Eritrean forces stay one more month in Tigray, I am sure they’ll kill more civilians and rape many girls and elderly women.
    I believe, the UN should act soon and force them out.

  5. Oftentimes, history observed that when troops move into an “enemy” territory and encounter a familiar landscape and a culture; they sometimes refrain from rampant pillages and wanton destruction. The Eritrean invading army comprises a segment of the Christian highlanders, who are ethnically the same as the people in most parts of Tigray. And yet, they had been murdering, raping hundreds of priests, monks, and nuns; they had been shelling, looting Churches, and Mosques. Is this act of vandalism not a symptom of utter nihilistic tendencies? Haven’t these troops shed whatever “social capital” inherited from their ancestors? Or was this alleged “social capital” only a myth? What would sociologists make out of this?

  6. I am 67 years old, so I can remember a lot. Decades of terrorist governments, including even cannibalism, genocide of own peoples, child soldiers, corruption, almost total lack of democracy and respect towards political opponents.

    All the above got me think whether for the common people the celebrated 1961, Independence Year of Africa, brought Africans more terror and horror, than intended. I sometimes contemplate a “sacrilegious” thought whether African lower 99 % were not better off during colonial rule of the British Empire, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, etc. (let us forget about Belgian rule).

    When (native) (often) life rulers of poor African nations cruise Geneva, New York, and London/Brussels in limos in expensive suits with their bodyguards and mistresses, one cannot help thinking why the waste…

    I am positive that the vast majority of Africans would prefer “humiliation” of colonial rule compensated with functioning government and rule of law.

    It is of course a bit simplified but try to think about it subjectively from the point of the oppressed (and killed, tortured, and raped) people.

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