(London 26/22/2020) Arbi Harnet (Freedom Friday) has been receiving confirmation that several Eritrean families are getting news of their wounded family members from the fighting in Tigray.
An Eritrean man living in Europe managed to call his brother who is doing his national service after days of the soldier’s family being worried that he may have been taken to the war font in Tigray.
The wounded soldier told his brother ‘ they put us in Ethiopian uniforms and took us directly to the front-lines without so much as telling us where we were going’. This confirms the news that Eritreans were indeed fighting in Ethiopian uniforms, something that was reported in the early days of the battle.
The solder told of the many casualties that have been suffered and confirmed the fear that there are many casualties ‘the way the battle is fought means there are many casualties and there is no time to rescue them we were completely overwhelmed and being shot at both from the Tigrayan side as well as from our own side’. This confirmed the fear that Eritrean soldiers were being used as cannon fodders for the Ethiopian forces behind them.
The soldier who managed to talk to his brother was wounded just outside Shire and was one of very few survivors.
Others talked about the pressure that even those previously demobilised are facing as everyone has been recalled back to their divisions, one person told his family ‘There is such shortage of soldiers even those previously demobilised because they were unfit are being recalled, soon we will all be back at the front fighting’
The assessment of heavy casualties is supported by the Horn analyst, Rashid Abdi