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Witness on Ethiopia and Eritrean Troops Killing and Raping in Axum – “I Had to Step over Dead Bodies”

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on January 21, 2021

An American witness, who was in Axum during the war, reports that water and electricity went out in Axum on November 2, prior to the start of hostilities on November 3 and 4. As a result people in Axum did not see any news.

A few days later people arrived from Humera. They told them that they came because of the war, that their houses had been destroyed, and people had been killed.

The witness states that a few days later shooting started when Eritrean soldiers entered Axum with tanks.

They came in their thousands and killed whoever stood in their way. There were dead bodies all over the city: “I had to step over dead bodies to get there. The entire city from the bus station to the park was covered in bodies.” Many civilians were killed when St. Michael church was shelled.

The witness states that the Eritrean soldiers said they had been told to kill, to kill all Tigrayan males over the age of four. The soldiers said they were told to kill all males so that they would not come to take revenge in the future.

According to the witness soldiers fired indiscriminately at anyone. They killed people without warning. People were not given any warning. The soldiers just fired on everything.

The witness states that Eritrean troops killed soldiers, priests, farmers, and burned crops. The Eritrean troops forced farmers and priests to slaughter their own animals and they killed the farmers if they refused to do so.

The Eritrean soldiers stole medicine from health facilities and destroyed the infrastructure. They broke glass windows and stole everything they could.

The witness states that she heard of old women and young girls being raped.

According to the witness, people of Axum sought refuge in the Mariam Zion Church.

The witness states Eritrean soldiers were completely in charge of the situation in Axum and that Ethiopian soldiers watched and did nothing to stop the violence and the killing. The Ethiopian soldiers were fired at if they tried to stop Eritrean soldiers who were looting.

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