Jan Nyssen, Ghent University

January 2021

Some of the atrocities & crimes committed against the people of Tigray by the joint Ethiopian & Eritrean troops have been documented and made public by Jay Nyssen, Full Professor of Geography at Ghent University, as part of the preprint of a book chapter on the humanitarian conditions in Tigray (Ethiopia). These crimes against humanity represent just the tip of the iceberg of all atrocities that have been committed in Tigray since the outbreak of war on Nov. 4, 2020.

  • On 18 November, Eritrean soldiers killed 59 civilians inside their houses in the border town of Zalambessa
  • On 24 November, Eritrean soldiers drove a pick-up truck with machine guns through the central street of Adigrat and shot indiscriminately at shops, private residences, and passers-by. Several civilians were reportedly killed and wounded, including women and children;
  • On 25 November, a group of 8 – 15 citizens (according to different witnesses) stood guard at the Addis Pharmaceutical Factory in Adigrat when they were handcuffed and executed by Eritrean soldiers;
  • On 25 November, Eritrean soldiers shot 8 civilians inside their houses in the town of Hawzen;
  • On 30 November, Eritrean troops killed more than 80 people in the Church compound of Maryam Dengelat, situated 5 kilometres to SW of Idaga Hamus;
  • Staff of Dashen Brewery in Gondar informed us that their Branch Manager in Adigrat, ayte Isayas Asgedom, was also murdered that day at Maryam Dengelat, together with his family;
  • Around 2 – 12 December, 24 men in the village of Abraha Atsbaha were ordered by Eritrean troops to dig graves for fallen soldiers. When the men had finished, they were executed by Eritrean soldiers;
  • Around 1 – 14 December, 13 boys aged 12 – 15 years old from the village of Tokot near Idaga Hamus were ordered by Eritrean troops to load looted materials onto a truck. When they had finished, the 13 boys were shot dead by the Eritrean soldiers;
  • 4 and 5 December, Eritrean troops looted Hager Selam (55 km west of Mekelle) for two days and killed around 60 civilians. In the nearby village of Addi Qoylo, on 14 December, 30 men including priests were executed by Eritrean troops, after such a lost battle;
  • Around 12 – 14 December, Eritrean troops looted the Negash mosque, the most ancient center of Islam outside Arabia, which has also been shelled. 81 (mostly Orthodox Christian) villagers were killed while trying to protect the holy site from looting;
  • Wukro has been heavily damaged mainly by organized looting, including St Mary College and the Catholic mission; the Sheba Leather Factory has been destroyed and local youth protecting the place killed in big numbers; and
  • Around 17 – 20 December, 750 inhabitants of the town of Aksum were killed by Eritrean troops when they tried to prevent them from looting the Maryam Tsion Church in the town.

Source: The situation in Tigray by the end of 2020; Jay Nyssen, Professor of Geography at Ghent University; PDF version available: https://bit.ly/35luLrx

Source: ResearchGate