A bid ‘to exterminate us’: Tigrayans recount massacre by Eritrean troops

The air on that November day was exuberant to the point that nobody saw the Eritrean soldiers drawing closer by walking down the winding back road into Dengolat, a town in northern Ethiopia’s Tigray locale, until it was past the point of no return. 

Neighborhood church authorities say 164 regular citizens were killed in Dengolat, with the greater part of the passings happening on November 30, one day after the celebration. 

Head administrator Abiy Ahmed’s administration has firmly confined helpful and media admittance to the locale, and for almost three months Dengolat inhabitants surrendered all expectations regarding imparting their story to the world. 

AFP arrived at Dengulata a week ago, talking with survivors and survey mass graves that currently spot the town, an assortment of stone houses encompassed by Tigray’s unmistakable steep stone slopes. 

Basic liberties bunches dread that rather than an outrageous illustration of the brutality in Tigray, what occurred in Dengolat could end up being stunningly commonplace.

No mistaking Eritreans –

Abiy – who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019 – declared military activities in Tigray a month prior to the celebration, saying they came in light of assaults by Tigray’s long-lasting decision party on government armed force camps. 

As the war delays and reports of abominations mount, officers from adjoining Eritrea, generally answered to back up Ethiopian soldiers, are frequently fingered as guilty parties. 

Addis Ababa and Asmara deny Eritrea’s military is available in Tigray by any stretch of the imagination. 

A week ago Amnesty distributed a report specifying how Eritrean soldiers “methodically executed many unarmed regular citizens” in the Tigrayan city of Axum, additionally in November 2020. 

Numerous Tigrayans including Tamrat see Eritrean fighters’ present-day lead as a type of retribution.

Church under fire –

As Eritrean troopers terminated on men in the focal point of Dengolat, many different regular citizens fell down in dread in a centuries-old Orthodox church up in the mountains. 

The troopers before long cautioned, however, that the congregation would be shelled if the men didn’t leave and give up. 

Some attempted to escape higher into the mountains, yet Eritrean warriors shot them dead before they could get much of anywhere. 

Gebremariam, 30, who mentioned his name be changed inspired by a paranoid fear of retaliations, was among the rare sorts of people who gave himself to the Eritreans. 

Remaining before one of the destinations, arranged behind a bunch of desert plants, Gebremariam laughed at authorities’ cases that the contention has included negligible non military personnel hurt.

– ‘You need to speak’ –

Dengolat occupants have had not many opportunities to recount the tale of the slaughter. 

After the Eritrean troopers left, Gebremariam and other Dengolat occupants painted a portion of the stones denoting the mass graves a splendid sky blue. 

“We felt that way perhaps a satellite could see them,” Gebremariam said. 

At the point when a group of AFP columnists showed up in the town, many people hurried out, some grasping outlined photos of their dead family members. 

As ladies sobbed and beat the ground, some shouting out the names of their dead children, men wailed into scarves pulled over their countenances. 

Kahsu Gebrehiwot, a cleric at the Orthodox church in Dengolat, weeped over the way that not even Ethiopia’s Orthodox chiefs were upbraiding the killings, to avoid anything related to the government. 

“At the point when individuals are kicking the bucket and they are saying nothing, that is an indication that they dread for their lives,” Kahsu said, alluding to the congregation initiative. 

“Yet, as the Bible advises us, on the off chance that you see something awful ending up with people, you need to implore, however you likewise need to talk.”