Speaking to CNN on condition of anonymity, sources said that the soldiers had released “a handful” of men, who were detained by Ethiopian and Eritrean forces operating in the region on Monday.
A CNN report published on Thursday found that hundreds of men were arrested in Shire, a town in Tigray, on Monday this week. Witnesses told on condition of anonymity how the men were beaten and harassed by Ethiopian and Eritrean soldiers. He also said that soldiers broke into at least two shelters for those displaced by the conflict, including an abandoned school, before shouting: “We’ll see if America will save you now!”
An aid worker told CNN that the soldiers accused the detainees of being members of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), a rebel group leading the resistance against Ethiopian government forces and their allies.
“The soldiers kept telling us that they did it because these people were TPLF, but the raids were indiscriminate. How did you know who was TPLF and who was not?” The support personnel said.
One of the released captives described physical abuse by Ethiopian and Eritrean soldiers while in their custody.
“They take us out one by one and torture us,” the man said. “This is the third time I’ve been beaten up by soldiers like this. Here people start running and every time they see someone wearing a military uniform. The world has to listen to our cries and do something – we live in terror.” Are “
Witnesses and aid personnel credited media reports and the upcoming international outcry for the release of the men.
“The fact that CNN reported on it, the United Nations and then the senator [Coons] Talked about this, it clearly showed him that he was being watched, “he said, referring to US Senator Chris Kons, who traveled to Ethiopia in March as President Joe Biden’s personal envoy.
CNN on Thursday shared its report with Const. The senator then raised the issue during the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Ethiopia, calling for “accountability” for mass detention.
United Nations refugee agency UNHCR spokesman Babar Baloch told reporters in Geneva on Friday that authorities had indicated that more detainees would be released in the coming days, adding that the refugee agency was “deeply concerned” by the detention report was. The United Nations said it is unable to independently verify this claim.
Baloch said, “As the mandatory agency leadership for the protection of essentially displaced persons, UNHCR was immediately in contact with Ethiopian authorities, and we raise immediate concern with the authorities for the safety of those removed from the camp.”
The Baloch called on all sides of the conflict to ensure that the displaced civilians in the shelter remain safe there.
How did it unfold
Four military vehicles surrounded the Adi Wenfito and Tsehe camps for the first displaced, witnesses said, before the soldiers surrounded the youth, forced them on buses and took them to a location on the outskirts of the Shire Gone. The soldiers broke into an abandoned school housing the refugees. It was there that the witnesses said they shouted, “We’ll see if America will save you now!”
“They forcibly opened the door, the men didn’t even get a chance to wear shoes. The soldiers took off their guns, [ready to shoot], “A witness said.
A woman said that her two sons, aged 19 and 24, were dragged from their house at around 9.30 pm.
“They didn’t explain why they were taking them, they just surrounded them, beat them up and took them away,” she told CNN, adding that she was too afraid that someone with her sons would What will be done to ask the question.
Many of those who were rounded up were released late Tuesday afternoon, when they identified themselves as aid personnel. He told CNN that hundreds of youths have been detained at the Guna distribution center, an aid and food storage facility, which has now been turned into a military camp.
One person described hours of beatings by Eritrean and Ethiopian soldiers.
“Many of us are young but there are people who are very large who will not be able to withstand beating for much longer,” he said.
Eritrean information minister Yemen Ghebremeskel denied the reports and dismissed previous CNN reporting: “How long will you continue to believe the face value on any and all ‘witness statements’ … We have fabricated a lot or Have heard false stories. ”
President Biden said in a statement late Wednesday that he was “deeply concerned by the escalating violence” in Ethiopia and condemned “massive human rights abuses in Tigre”.
Acting Assistant Secretary of the African Affairs Bureau Robert Godek said on Thursday that if the conflict does not take the “reverse path”, Ethiopia and Eritrea should expect “further action” from the US.
“It cannot be business as usual in the face of violence and atrocities in Tigray,” Godek said during the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing.
The conflict in Tigray has been going on for more than 200 days, pitting the TPLF against the Ethiopian National Defense Force, soldiers from Eritrea and the Amhara ethnic militia. Civilians have been targeted by Ethiopian government forces and allied Eritrean and militia forces since the beginning of the conflict last year.
The story moves on from an investigation by Nima Elbagir, Barbara Arvanitidis, Katie Polglase, Gianluca Mezzofor, Bethlehem Feleke, and Eliza Mackintosh.