A massacre in Debano, Werki Amba, Tembien, Tigray

This is a story of Kibrom Hadush (20). On January 11, 2021, after threshing, Kibrom Hadush, his small brother Negasi Hadush (11), his nephew Gebretsadiq Gebrehiwet, and his friend Kibrom Gebreselassie were preparing a ground for storing the hay for their animals. As they dig and prepare the ground, a bomb detonated killing his nephew and his friend, mildly wounding his brother and severely wounding him.

People brought them to the side of the road hoping for someone with a car to take them to Mekelle. An Electric power corporation car traveling to Mekelle agreed to take them to Mekelle. Kibrom has lost his two eyes and his right hand has been amputated. He is still in Mekelle being treated.

According to Kibrom, before the incident that has wounded him, there was a fighting between Tigrayan Defence Forces on one hand, and Ethiopian Defence Forces and Amhara forces on the other hand. During that time, almost all the people of the village of Debano fled to the mountains on the side of the river Werie. It is after this, when the people thought the area was relatively safe, that they came back to find out what happened to their village and their houses.

The Amhara forces who came following the Ethiopian army entered the village and massacred anyone they found. Young as well as old people unable to stand were all massacred. In the small village of Debano, Kibrom says he alone knows 30 people that have been killed. Properties have been looted and vandalized. For instance, water jericans were either taken or pierced with sharp things making them unusable. The school of Debano has been looted. The school is now a camp for Eritrean soldiers who have come later to replace the Ethiopian and Amhara forces.

Kibrom also returned to his village. After seeing what happened to their village and houses, the traumatized community was trying to resume life. Kibrom’s family started to thresh and collect what was left. The bomb that detonated wounding Kibrom, he says, is from the fighting but it had landed on a softer ground without detonating. But when they accidentally touched it during their digging and preparing a ground for a haystac, the bomb detonated killing two of them and severely wounding him.

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