Western Tigray is a scene of crime: ethnic cleansing, forced removal, massacres, executions and throwing people to the Tekeze river. The land is being changed through burning, confiscation and severing infrastructure connections to the rest of Tigray. In many towns, no Tigrayan is left. “There are no Tigrayans here,” said an Amhara contact in Dansha when asked if there are Tigrayans left in there.
Two young men who crossed from Adebay, Western Tigray and two young men in Hamdayit
We present testimonies of two young men who crossed from Adebay, Western Tigray and two young men in Hamdayit (Sudan) who help the newcomers to cross the Tekeze river. Their testimonies was broadcast by Dimtsi Weyane TV
Bisrat Gidey and UnqiBahri Gebremedhin are among 32 refugees who made it to Sudan out of 75 who fled from Adebay recently. The whereabouts of the 43 remain unknown.
The young men say life in Western Tigray has become very bad for Tigrayans. Fanos attack boys as young as 15 years old. They say the young from central Tigray have been fighting the military and so they don’t spare even young boys. Every night they knock at houses and loot money and gold and they harass women and beat and arrest men.
Bisrat Says “They are Amhara. I don’t know if they are Shifftas or not. They call themselves Fano. They knock at houses every night and loot money and gold. They harass women and beat and arrest men. I know Tigrayans who lived on the fields outside Adebay who were killed by Fano using axes. Their bodies remained unburied.
When we arrived at Tekeze, there was nothing for crossing the river and soldiers were shooting at us. Those who could swim jumped into the river. Those unable to swim remained. They might be shot and dead.”
UnqiBahri Gebremedhin says “We have crossed two rivers. It took us hours to cross Rawyan river. Early morning about 4 am, we reached Tekeze and they shot at us but we continued anyway. We were 75 when we started the journey in Adebay but only 32 of us made it to Sudan. I don’t know what happened to the remaining 43.
In Adebay, I know two people who were killed by Amhara militia. One was an old man. They accused him of his children being in police or Tigray forces. It’s the Amharas that are killing Tigrayans. They wear uniforms and they carry RPG and snipers. They say ‘We are Fano, Amhara and the land up to the TekeZe river belongs to us.’”
Amanuel Gebrehiwot and Samuel Berhane are among Tigrayans who crossed to Sudan earlier. They are skilled swimmers and they help new arrivals to cross the river. They said it has become common to see dead bodies, with their hands tied behind their back, floating on the Tekeze river.
Amanuel Gebrehiwot says “Today was difficult. We went to help but there were a lot of shootings and we had to run away leaving our clothes and mobile phones. Some of those who were trying to cross the river were shot and some taken by the stream. The soldiers kill whoever they capture. If we are not able to get them across, they would be killed. We hear shooting daily.”
Samuel Berhane said “There were a lot of people from Adebay and Humera. They were young, old, children and women. They were 95 in total. After we helped the 21 cross the river, around 15 soldiers came. We told the kids to hide but the soldiers didn’t spare them. They killed four. Another one was shot while he was in the water. We see daily one or two dead bodies with their hands tied behind their backs floating on the river Tekeze. This is genocide. In Humera all the grain stores are now packed by Tigrayans.”
Photos and Images
Images of people that are said to have been thrown to the Tekeze river are appearing on social media. The images are said to have been retrieved in Sudan.
Early on, an estimated 1 million Tigrayans had been removed from Western Tigray, with 70, 000 fleeing to Sudan and the rest to Shire and other parts of Tigray. The current crimes are on those that are left and seems a final attempt to remove any Tigrayan from Western Tigray. The area is occupied by Amhara forces with the help of the Ethiopian National defence Forces and the Eritrean Defence Forces.
Western Tigray needs urgent attention.
Tigisti contributed by translating the interviews.