Four military vehicles first surrounded Wenfito and Tsehay camps, before witnesses, soldiers began to surround the young men, forcing them on the bus and taking them to a place believed to be on the outskirts of Shire. Witnesses shouted, “We’ll see if America can save you now!”
“They forced the door open, they didn’t even get a chance to put on their shoes. The soldiers closed their guns,” he said. [ready to shoot]One witness said.
One woman said she had dragged her two sons, aged 19 and 2, out of the house around 9:00 p.m. “They didn’t say why they took them, they just surrounded them, beat them and took them away,” she told CNN, fearing what would happen if she asked her son some questions.
Many of the people who were in the roundup after they were identified as helpers were released on Tuesday afternoon. He told CNN that hundreds of young people have been arrested at the Guna distribution center, with aid and food storage facilities that have now been converted into a military camp.
One man was beaten for hours by Eritrean and Ethiopian soldiers. “Most of us are young but there are a lot of people who are very mature who can’t stand the beatings for long,” he said.
Rejecting the report, Eritrean Information Minister Yemeni Gebremeskel dismissed previous CNN reports as saying, “How long will you continue to believe in face value and all the ‘witness statements’ … we have heard so many fabricated or false stories.”
US President Joe Biden said in a statement on Wednesday night that he was “deeply concerned” about the escalating violence in Ethiopia and condemned the “massive human rights abuses taking place in Tigris.”
Ethiopia and Eritrea should expect “further action” from the United States if the conflict “does not turn upside down,” said Robert Godek, acting assistant secretary of the African Bureau of Investigation.
“Despite the violence and atrocities in Tigris, this cannot be a normal business,” Godek told a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing.
Godek did not call the region’s conflict and humanitarian abuses a “war crime,” but said the State Department was reviewing whether the actions in Tigre should be defined in the same way.
The United Nations has also condemned Thursday’s “arbitrary and brutal arrest” and called for the immediate release of those arrested.
“International humanitarian and human rights law strictly prohibits arbitrary arrests and ill-treatment of any person,” said the UN humanitarian coordinator in Ethiopia. Katherine Sozi said in a statement. “Serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights law must be immediately investigated and the perpetrators brought to justice.”
Elizabeth Haslund, spokeswoman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), told CNN: “We have received alarming reports that Ethiopian and Eritrean soldiers are taking many young people to the IDP site. Vehicles.
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) issued a statement on Wednesday confirming that eyewitness accounts had been leaked to CNN. “On Monday night, the army forcibly took many people to the camp where the internally displaced people are seeking refuge,” MSF East Africa tweeted.
200 days of violence
For more than 200 days, the Tigre conflict has led Tigre’s regional leaders, the Tigre People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), to speak out against the Ethiopian National Security Forces, Eritrean soldiers and the Amhara ethnic militia. Since the beginning of last year’s conflict, Ethiopian government forces and allied Eritrean and militia forces have targeted civilians.
This latest incident has led to a significant increase in what has been described by Shire humanitarian workers and witnesses as an “age of war” targeting young people, a just campaign.
Humanitarian workers told CNN that Eritrean and Ethiopian troops had been blocking major aid routes to Shire for months, disrupting supplies as displaced people began to flow into the city.
A rescue worker told CNN that only a dozen vehicles carrying Shire were sent back on Saturday. A CNN team in the area was able to capture Eritrean soldiers on camera in April to assist on the route.
CNN contacted the Ethiopian prime minister’s office and the Eritrean information minister for comment, but received no response.
The United States on Sunday evening announced it was “moving away” from economic sanctions and visa bans, which it said were “complicated” in abusing Ethiopian, Eritrean, Amharic and TPLF officials or obstructing the settlement of the crisis. A State Department spokesman told CNN the ban would be enforced by the United States as a “unilateral action.” CNN has taken note of the State Department in a recent report from Shire.
In a statement, Ethiopia’s foreign ministry lifted US sanctions. Many witnesses see this new upgrade of violence as a statement of disobedience to the growing international census.
In videos sent to CNN on Tuesday morning, which were secretly filmed, frustrated parents can be seen gathering on the premises of the local UNHCR office. A video shows Ethiopian soldiers addressing parents inside the compound.
CNN was able to geographe the videos in the center of the shire by testing metadata in raw files and finding key locations in the footage, including surrounding scenes such as Kholafa and Rashen Masjid. A CNN analysis shows that the metadata also found the date and time the videos were shot – May 22, 2021 local time: 45:45 a.m. – which corresponds to the direction of sunlight and the length of the shadows in the video. One of the videos also features support for UNHCR logo accounts.
The audio in the video is vague but the witnesses told the guardian: “We can kill you here and the United Nations will do nothing but take a photo of you.”
This story has been updated.
Report contributed by DJ Judd.