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Amhara to Adebay Tigrayans: Go to Eritrea, or We Throw You into a Concentration Camp



On 11 April 2022, at about 1 PM, the Amhara officials & militiamen forcefully gathered hundreds of ethnic Tigrayan residents of Adebay (in Western Tigray) and the surrounding areas, and transported them to Omhajer, Eritrea, on the same day,  according to eyewitnesses on the ground. 

Adebay town, Western Tigray, 78.5 km south east of Humera

Many Tigrayans had claimed that they were half Tigrayans and half Eritreans and that was the only reason they were spared. The Amhara officials used to spare Tigrayans who are believed to have a bloodline connection to Eritrea while 100,000s Tigrayans have been abducted, disappeared, raped, detained, tortured, displaced, and massacred by the Amhara forces with the support of the Ethiopian and Eritrean troops in Western Tigray,  following Ethiopia’s  declaration of a genocidal war on Tigray. The Amhara officials, however, decided to completely erase the remaining 100s of Tigrayans, too, by sending them to Eritrea presumably due to their half Eritrean bloodline. 

The Amhara officials had confiscated the possessions [including livestocks] of these people before they transported them to Eritrea. However, the Amhara officials did not consult the Eritrean officials in the decision and hence the latter were not pleased with the action. As a result, they ordered the return of the Tigrayans from Omhajer back to Adebay on Friday, April 22, 2022. 

Though the Eritrean officials returned the Tigrayans back to Adebay, the Amhara officials have been intimidating the civilians that if they fail to bring a formal letter or ID card from Eritrea that proves their half Eritrean bloodline up to next Monday, May 16, 2022, then they would throw them to one of the concentration camps in Humera

Hundreds of Tigrayans who were transported to Omhajer, Eritrea, from Adebay on Apr 22, 2022 by the Amhara forces are now back to Adebay but still face imminent danger of being taken to the biggest concentration camp in Humera.

As a matter of fact, these people & their forefathers have been living in Adebay as proud Tigrayans. I am not going to comment on the bloodline of these people for the sake of their safety. Putting everything aside, they are innocent people and they deserve to be protected. It does not matter what exact bloodline they have. However, it is highly unlikely that Eritrea would recognise them as people who have half Eritrean bloodline and it is improbable for Eritrea to provide them with letters or ID cards. 

Therefore, it can be concluded that the Amhara officials & forces are going to round up these 100s of Tigrayan men, women, and children, transport them to Humera and throw them into one of the concentration camps where 1000s, if not 10,000s, of ethnic Tigrayan men and women have been languishing

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch called on the international community to intervene as fast as possible to save the lives of many Tigrayans who have been kept in hellish situations in the concentration camps of Western Tigray. And now the 100s of Tigrayan residents of Adebay are facing imminent danger at the hands of the Amhara officials & forces. 

The 100s of Tigrayans who claimed to have a mixed Tigrayan and Eritrean bloodline managed to survive the barbaric actions of the Amhara forces and militiamen for several months. But, now it is just a matter of  days before they face imminent danger by the same forces.

Action from the international community is needed to save the remaining Tigrayans in Adebay  before the Amhara forces throw them into concentration camps. Similarly, those who have been languishing at concentration camps across the entire Western Tigray deserve an international life-saving intervention, too. 

Finally, it is worth mentioning that an Amhara official with the name Belay Ayalew Meshesha has been spearheading all the atrocities in Adebay and other parts of Western Tigray.

Gebremeskel Gebemariam graduated from Mekelle Institute of Technology, worked as a teacher and head in the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering of Wolkite University for 4 years. He also served under Mahibere Kidusan during and after undergraduate study. Currently he is studying his masters degree in Communications Engineering at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden.

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