Tigray: a massacre committed by Eritrean soldiers in Goda

English translation of a broadcast article on Radio France International: https://www.rfi.fr/fr/afrique/20210526-tigr%C3%A9-un-massacre-commis-par-des-soldats-%C3%A9rythr%C3%A9ens-%C3%A0-goda

Published on : 05/26/2021 – 17:58

Des habitants venus se recueillir sur les tombes de leurs proches exécutés et enterrés sur le site de l’entreprise. Les tombes sont marquées par des branchages marrons. Mai 2021.
Residents have come to gather at the graves of their relatives executed and buried on the company’s site. The tombs are marked by brown branches. May 2021. © RFI/ Sébastien Németh

In Ethiopia, the Tigray conflict continues. Our special envoy was able to document a massacre perpetrated by Eritreans, who, in this conflict, are fighting alongside the Ethiopian Federal Army.

With our special envoy in Goda, Sébastien Németh

Tigray, a region in northern Ethiopia, has been plagued by violence since early November. Deadly clashes are taking place between the former power of the TPLF on the one hand and the Ethiopian Federal Army, aided by Eritrean soldiers, on the other. They are suspected of multiple abuses against civilians. In Goda, soldiers abducted residents from the hamlets surrounding Goda’s glass bottle factory. They executed them on the company’s website.

Residents burst into tears as they saw the graves of their loved ones buried in the factory. 19 people are buried there. The families accuse Eritreans of executing them in early December. Hagos, 66, lost his three sons.

The soldiers looted my house, took my children before they were shot here. They forbade me to bury them for two weeks. We buried them on the spot because the bodies were too damaged. They had their lives ahead of them. I’ll never forgive. I don’t even look towards Eritrea anymore.

Families come to mourn every day on these graves. Kahsa is almost blind, but she looks at the place where two of her children, her brother and nephew, are buried. Her voice chokes.

They hit them and took them away. My kids were everything to me. I’m heartbroken. We still often see Eritreans pass by. Every time it terrorizes us. I don’t know if we’ll be able to live back normally.

Pieces of sheet iron twist in the wind. The factory was completely looted and destroyed by Eritreans. Gebrehiwot is one of the guards.

The soldiers loaded everything they could onto trucks. Today, the factory is destroyed. We had over 300 employees. This attack brought the economy to the ground and shattered our families.

Residents do not expect too much justice. However, some hope that this crime will be known and that the site will one day be turned into a memorial.

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