A Horrific Massacre In Ethiopia: Over Seven Hundred People Are Ambushed, Butchered With Knives, Strangled With Ropes And Burned

By Theodore Shoebat

A horrendous massacre was committed in the town of Mai Kadra in northern Ethiopia’s Tigray region, where separatists are fighting the government in a war of power and domination. The massacre was done by a violent youth group that calls itself “Samri” and their militia allies, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and police officers. Hundreds of bodies have been discovered, and the body count continues to rise. According to a report from Yahoo!:

Elsewhere in this town in western Tigray, dozens of corpses still awaiting a grave lie abandoned in a roadside ditch, their exposed flesh rotting in the sun.

No-one denies that something terrible unfolded here: a massacre of hundreds of civilians, who were shot, slashed or stabbed with knives and machetes.

It is the worst-known episode of violence against civilians in the deepening bloodshed in northern Ethiopia.

One survivor, Misganaw Gebey,  gave witness:

“Militiamen and police attacked us with guns, and civilians attacked us with machetes… The whole population is involved.”

An Ethiopian publication, the Reporter, states that the death count rose from 600 to over 700:

The death toll in the Mai-Kadra massacre rose to 766 as 166 additional bodies were discovered on Wednesday and Friday.

A day after the investigative findings by the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) that put the death toll in the Mai-Kadra massacre at 600 were released, another 74 bodies were recovered from a mass grave in two separate places on the outskirts of Mai-Kadra.

In a shocking footage aired on Amhara TV [under the Amhara Mass Media Agency (AMMA)], the regional broadcaster reported that the bodies were recovered from two places; Abnet and central Mewucha localities. It was indicated that the latest recovery was successful in part due to the cooperation of residents of Mai-Kadra who had survived the mass killings.

The massacre was an act of ethnic cleansing by the Tigray people of the Amharic people. Misganaw affirmed: “They wanted to exterminate the Amharas”. A local official named Fentahun Bihohegn stated: “A brutal ethnic cleansing has been committed against the Amhara people … For me, I have witnessed the real hell here in Mai-Kadra”.

Ethiopian soldiers and Amhara militiamen entered the town and more bloodshed ensued. Marsem Gadi, a local farmer of Tigray who fled with thousands of other locals, described the horror he saw: “Ethiopian soldiers and Amhara militiamen entered the town and fired into the air and at residents … We ran out of town to find safety. I saw men in civilian clothes attacking villagers with knives and axes… Corpses were lying in the streets.”

Elifa Sagadi ran to the nearby fields when bullets began to be fired. “On the road I saw at least 40 bodies. Some had bullets in their heads, others had been stabbed … When I went home, my house was on fire and my husband and two sons had disappeared.”

According to an Ethiopian article, the massacre was committed by Samri Tigray Youth!  and that they butchered people with knives, strangled people and did other horrors. They also burned people. According to al-Jazeera:

The killings in Mai Kadra on November 9 were first reported by rights watchdog Amnesty International three days later, sparking fears of war crimes being committed as fighting intensified. On November 14, the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) dispatched a team of experts to the region for an investigation that ran until November 19.

On Tuesday, the government-appointed but independent body said it had found that the killings were carried out by a local youth group called Samri, with the support of other Tigrayan civilians, police and militia.

Citing sources, including witnesses, first respondents and survivors, the EHRC said it estimated at least 600 civilians were killed in Mai Kadra but added that the death toll was likely to be higher.

“The local militia and police security apparatus joined forces with members of the Samri group to carry out door-to-door raids and kill hundreds of people they identified as ethnic ‘Amharas and Wolkait origin’, by beating them with sticks, stabbing them with knives, machetes and hatchets and strangling them with ropes,” the EHRC’s report said.

We read from France 24:

A local youth group aided by police and militia killed at least 600 people in a “rampage” on November 9 in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region, the national rights watchdog said Tuesday.

The massacre in the town of Mai-Kadra is the worst-known attack on civilians during Ethiopia‘s ongoing internal conflict pitting federal forces against leaders of Tigray‘s ruling party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).

Amnesty International previously reported that “scores, and likely hundreds, of people were stabbed or hacked to death” in the November 9 attack in Mai-Kadra.

But Tuesday’s report from the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) provides a more detailed account, accusing the Tigrayan youth group known as “Samri” of targeting non-Tigrayan seasonal labourers working on sesame and sorghum farms in the area.

The EHRC is a government-affiliated but independent body whose chief commissioner, Daniel Bekele, was appointed by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

The perpetrators “killed hundreds of people, beating them with batons/sticks, stabbing them with knives, machetes and hatchets and strangling them with ropes. They also looted and destroyed properties,” the report said.