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‘Slaughtered Like Chickens’: Eritrea Heavily Involved in Tigray Conflict, Say Eyewitnesses

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on December 21, 2020

Despite denials by Ethiopia, multiple reports confirm killings, looting and forcible return of refugees by Asmara’s forces

In early December, Ethiopian state television broadcast something unexpected: a fiery exchange between civilians in Shire, in the northern Tigray region, and Ethiopian soldiers, who had recently arrived in the area.

To the surprise of viewers used to wartime propaganda, the Tigrayan elders spoke in vivid detail of the horrors that had befallen the town since the outbreak of war between the federal government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the region’s longstanding ruling party, which was ousted from the state capital of Mekelle in late November.

Residents had been “slaughtered like chicken”, the elders said, their corpses abandoned to be “eaten by hyenas”. They also spoke of rampant looting and vandalism: “All government assets have been destroyed and looted,” said one.

Perhaps most revealing, however, was the implication that those responsible for the carnage were not Ethiopian federal troops, but outsiders. “You need to solve this problem immediately,” said an elder addressing the generals and newly appointed Tigray president, Mulu Nega. “How can institutions that should serve the government of the day be allowed to be destroyed and looted by hooligans who do not have Ethiopian values in them?”

Thousands are thought to have been killed, civilians among them, and nearly 50,000 people have fled to Sudan since Ethiopia’s Tigray war began on 4 November. Pitched battles involving tanks and fighter jets – as well as militia from Amhara, which borders Tigray to the south – have flattened villages and emptied towns.

But according to eyewitnesses, aid workers and diplomats, the fighting has also involved many thousands of soldiers from neighbouring Eritrea, suggesting that what the Ethiopian government calls a “law enforcement operation” bears the hallmarks of a regional conflict.

Abiy and Eritrea’s president, Isaias Afwerki, share a common enemy in the TPLF, which dominated Ethiopia’s federal government for nearly three decades before Abiy took office in 2018. Ethiopia and Eritrea fought a bloody war between 1998 and 2000, which claimed an estimated 100,000 lives.

Earlier this month the former president of Tigray, Debretsion Gebremichael, accused Eritrean forces of mass looting. Before that he alleged Tigrayan forces were fending off Eritrean divisions on several fronts. The TPLF has claimed responsibility for one of three missile strikes on Eritrea since the war began, arguing it had acted in self-defence since the airport in Asmara, the capital, which was hit by at least two rockets in the strike, had been used to launch attacks.

Refugees crossing into Sudan have also made similar claims, telling reporters and aid workers that artillery shells that hit towns in western Tigray had come from Eritrea. But confirmation has been complicated by the lack of access for outsiders, including media, and the cutting off of communications to the region. Phone lines were restored in parts of Tigray this month, but there is still no internet.

As Ethiopia’s army declares daily victories, its people are being plunged into violence

Abiy has denied all allegations, and told the UN secretary-general, António Guterres, on 9 December that he could guarantee no Eritrean troops had entered Ethiopian territory.

However, his government does acknowledge that Ethiopian troops who escaped to Eritrea at the start of the war were aided by Eritreans who fed, clothed and armed them before they returned to the fight in Tigray.

The Eritrean people are not only our brothers,” Abiy told parliament last month. “They have also shown us practically that they are friends who stood by our side on a tough day.”

But diplomatic sources have backed accusations that Eritrean soldiers have been actively involved in combat inside Tigray. Reuters, which interviewed several unidentified diplomats in the region and a US official, revealed earlier this month that the US government believed Eritrean soldiers had crossed into Ethiopian territory in mid-November via three northern border towns: Zalambessa, Rama and Badme.

A spokesperson for the US state department later confirmed the details, marking a shift among US officials, who have previously praised Eritrea for its “restraint”. “We are aware of credible reports of Eritrean military involvement in Tigray and view this as a grave development,” said the spokesperson. “We urge that any such troops be withdrawn immediately.”

In the lingo of the state department that means they have intercepts, satellites and maybe even human intelligence as well,” a top EU diplomat in the region told the Guardian. “From everything we’ve been told it is incontrovertible they [Eritrean troops] are involved. It’s absolutely clear.”

Mesfin Hagos, a former Eritrean defence minister turned opposition figure, said in an article for online publication African Arguments, that Isaias had deployed four mechanised divisions, seven infantry divisions and a commando brigade, citing sources in the defence ministry among others.

Wallelegn, a Tigrayan working in Shire when the war began who later escaped to the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, told the Guardian that the “Eritreans were really leading the Ethiopian forces in the area”.

Their uniform is different and they are relatively old and skinny compared with the Ethiopian defence forces,” he said. “In the early days of their arrival to Shire they were looting, randomly shooting, mainly youngsters, and burning factories.”

He added: “At first the Ethiopian forces were emotional, and were not doing much to stop the attacks. But later on they started to take charge [and impose order].”

Tigray is also home to around 100,000 refugees from Eritrea, many of whom have fled indefinite national service and military conscription. When the war began they were caught in the middle and cut off from relief supplies.

A humanitarian worker in Shire told the Guardian that many refugees in Hitsats camp fled as soon as troops from Eritrea arrived in the vicinity on 19 November. According to the source, the approaching “north force” – a reference to Eritrean troops crossing the border from the north – armed refugees before looting property, slaughtering livestock and burning crops.

A senior UN official told the Guardian they had received similar allegations, including of the killing of three security guards employed by the UN at Hitsats camp who tried to prevent the abduction of refugees, and the forced conscription of refugees to fight alongside the Eritrean army.

On 11 December, the head of the UN refugee agency said it had received an “overwhelming” number of reports of Eritrean refugees in Tigray being killed, abducted or forcibly returned to Eritrea over the past month. That same day Ethiopian authorities started putting Eritrean refugees in Addis Ababa on buses and returning them to Tigray against their will. The Ethiopian government said it was “safely returning” refugees to camps where there would be access to “service delivery systems” in order to process their cases.

In recent days, according to a refugee based in Adi Harush camp, south of Hitsats, Eritrean soldiers accompanied by Ethiopian troops have patrolled the camp on the hunt for individuals. “They were searching name-by-name and home-to-home. Their main target seems to be opposition members,” said the refugee, who asked for anonymity for fear of reprisals.

Eritrean state television, the only broadcast media in the country, has made no mention of the conflict in Ethiopia since it began, Eritreans living in Asmara say. President Isaias has not uttered a word in public in response to the missiles fired at Asmara last month.



Posted in Ethiopia, Infos, Life | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

በመንገድ ላይ ሰዎች ሲሞቱ አይቻለሁ ፣ ብዙ የሞቱ ሰዎች በውሾች ሲበሉ አየሁ

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on December 2, 2020


የኢትዮጵያ ጦር እ... በኖቬምበር አጋማሽ ላይ በትግራይ አነስተኛ የእርሻ ከተማ ሁመራን ሲወጋ የ 54 ዓመቱ ጉሽ ጠላ ባለቤቱን እና ሶስት ልጆቹን በአቅራቢያው ወደሚገኝ ከተማ እንዲሸሹ አደረጋቸው፡፡

ከጥቂት ቀናት በኋላ የቤቱን ሁኔታ ለማጣራት ተገደደ፡፡ በደረቁ ገጠር ውስጥ እየተጓዘ በሞተር ብስክሌቱ ወደ ከተማው ሲቃረብ ፣ ቁጥራቸው ስፍር የሌላቸው የአስከሬኖች ጠረን አየሩን ሞልተውት ነበር፡፡

ወንዶች ፣ ሴቶችና ሕፃናት በመንገዱ እና በየማሳው በተንጣለለ ተጋድመው ሰውነታቸው በጥይት ቀዳዳዎች ተሞልቶ ይታይ ነበር፡፡

ጠላ በሱዳን ድንበር አቅራቢያ ከሚገኘው የስደተኞች ካምፕ ውስጥ ድምፁ እየተሰባበረ እንዲህ አለ፤ “ብዙ የሞቱ ሰዎች በውሾች ሲበሉ አይቻለሁ። ብዙ ሰዎች በመንገድ ላይ ሲሞቱ አይቻለሁ፡፡ ብዙ አስቸጋሪ ነገሮች ፣ ለመግለጽ አስቸጋሪ ፣ ለማሰብ አስቸጋሪ ናቸው፡፡ ”

ጠላ በመቀጠል እንዲህ አለ፤ “የፌደራል ወታደሮች በሁመራ ውስጥ አግኝተውት በደም ተሸፍኖ እና መራመድ እስኪያቅተው ድረስ ደብድበውት ፋኖ ለተባለ አረመኔያዊ የአማራ ተወላጆች ጦር ሰጡት፡፡ ፋኖዎች ከተማዋን የማፍረስ እና ትግራውያንን “ለመጨረስ” ተልእኮ እንደተሰጣቸው ተናግረዋል፡፡”

ፋኖዎቹ በሁመራ ያለውን የፍትህ ፍ / ቤት ተረከቡ ፡፡ ጠላ ድም እየፈሰሰውና መንቀሳቀስ እስኪያቅተው ድረስ እጁን እንደ ቢለዋ ተጠቅሞ በአንገቱ ላይ ምልክት በማቅረብ፤ “ በ 30 ዎቹ ዕድሜ ውስጥ ያለ አንድ ሰው በካራ አንገቱን ተቆርጦ አየሁት” ብሏል ፡፡

በካምፕ ውስጥ ያሉ ስደተኞች እራሳቸው የተመለከቱትን ወይም ከሌሎች የሰሙትን አስደንጋጭ መረጃ ሰጥተውናል፡፡ ከሰፈሩ በስተጀርባ አቅራቢያ ባለ አንድ ክፍል ውስጥ ጊዜያዊ ክፍል ውስጥ የተወሰኑት በፋኖ ሚሊሻዎች በቢላ እና በሜንጫ ጥቃቶች የተከሰቱ ናቸው ብለዋል፡፡

When Ethiopia’s army shelled Humera, a small agricultural city in Tigray, in mid-November, 54-year-old Gush Tela rushed his wife and three children to safety in a nearby town.

A few days later, he felt compelled to find out what had become of his home. As he approached the city on his motorbike, riding through the arid countryside, he said the stench of countless dead bodies filled the air.

Men, women and children lay strewn along the road and in the surrounding fields, their bodies riddled with bullet holes, Tela said.

I saw many dead people being eaten by dogs,” Tela said from a refugee camp just over the border in Sudan, his voice breaking. “I saw many people dying on the road. Many difficult things, difficult to express, difficult to imagine.”

Tela saidfederal soldiers had found him in Humera and beaten him until he was covered in blood and could not walk, then passed him over to a brutal militia force of ethnic Amharans called the Fano. He said the Fano had been tasked with destroying the city and “finishing” Tigrayans.

The Fano had taken over a judicial court in Humera. Barely mobile and gushing blood, Tela said he was allowed to heave himself away. Gesturing a knife to his neck, he said he saw a man in his 30s beheaded with machetes.

Refugees in the camp reel off accounts of horror they either witnessed themselves or heard from others. In a makeshift ward in a room near the back of the camp, some show wounds they say were caused by knife and machete attacks by Fano militia.


Posted in Ethiopia, Infos, Life | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

እግዚአብሔር የግራኝን አፍ ከፈተልን ፥ ሰይጣን ግን የወደቁትን ወገኖች ጆሮ ደፍኖባቸዋል

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on December 2, 2020

አቤት ጥላቻ፣ ጭካኔና አረመኔነት!

ይህን ያህል ይቅር የማይባል ቅጥፈት፣ ጥላቻ፣ ፌዝና ስድብ በተከታታይ የሚዘራው ይህ ቆሻሻ፣ አረመኔና ፋሺስት ግለሰብ የአገር ‘መሪ’ ሊሆን መቻሉ ምን ያህል የዘቀጠ ትውልድ ኢትዮጵያን እያቆሸሻት መሆኑን ነው የሚያሳየው። ለሰሜን ኢትዮጵያውያን ያለውን ጥላቻ እያየን ነው? ይህን ሁሉ ጉድ አይቶ ዝም ማለትና መርሳት አይቻልምና የወገኖቻችን ስቃይና መከራ የሚበቀል ሁነኛ ሰው በቅርቡ እንደሚመጣ አልጠራጠርም!


Posted in Conspiracies, Ethiopia, Infos | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

አብይ አሊ የጀነሳይድ ተጠያቂ ነው ፥ አንገቱ ላይ ገመድ አስገብቷል፡ ወደ ጥልቁ ለመውደቅም ገደል አፋፍ ላይ ነው

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on August 17, 2020


Posted in Ethiopia, Infos, Psychology | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

እምዬ ኢትዮጵያ ቆሻሻው አውሬ ተሳለቀብሽ እኮ!

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on August 15, 2020

ይህ ቆሻሻ በጄነሳይድ ማግስት ብቅ ብሎ ዘለለ፣ የሻምፓኝ ጠርሙስ ከፈተ፣ ጠጣ፣ ሰከረ፣ እንደ የጅብ ጥላ ፈነደቀ ጨፈረ፣ ሳቀ፤ “አንድ ሚሊየን ኢትዮጵያውያን ቢሞቱም ኢትዮጵያ ትቀጥላለች!” አለ።

የሕዝቡን ዝምታ እንደ ዳማ ጨዋታ አይቶታል።

እግዚዖ! እግዚዖ!ይህ ጨካኝ፣ አላጋጭ የዲያብሎስ የግብር ልጅ ወደሚያቃጥለው የሲዖል ነበልባል እሳት እየተጠጋ እንደሆነ እያየን ነው?!


Posted in Conspiracies, Ethiopia, Faith, Infos | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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