The eating of human corpses by hyenas, airstrikes on cities, and the recruitment of elderly and young women into the military are among the horrific stories of the Tigray war.
Hundreds of thousands of people are estimated to have died in the war.
Before the war, Tigray was a tourist destination. It is home to rock-hewn churches, ancient mosques, and old records written in Geez.
Today, Tigray has become a battlefield.
To achieve a balance of power in the country and to control Tigray. It is almost two years since the Federal Government of Ethiopia and the Eritrean Army unilaterally started fighting with the forces of Tigray.
Tigray has been under siege for 17 months without banks, telephones, internet, and media coverage.
In the last two years of war, the two warring powers have gained the upper hand on the battlefield at different times. Let’s mention displays.
Following the accusation that the forces of Tigray attacked the Northern Command of National Defense, Ethiopian and Eritrean forces in November 2013. m. Tigray’s capital is Mekele.
Tigray forces entered Amara and Afar regions in a counterattack and approached Addis Ababa.
Recently, the joint forces of Ethiopia and Eritrea are recapturing other areas of Tigray, including the critical city of Shiren.
“At least 500,000 Eritrean and Ethiopian soldiers are directly participating in the war,” said Alex D. Waal, executive director of the World Peace Foundation in America. “There are 200,000 soldiers on the Tigray side,” he said.
He added that after 50 days of non-stop fighting, the Tigray forces on the Shire front could not defend against the attacks due to the loss of snipers.
“This is a big gap for Tigray forces. “It leads to massacre, rape, and starvation of innocent citizens,” he explained.
On the other hand, the Ethiopian government has promised to provide humanitarian aid and restore services in the Shire and other areas it has occupied.
Shire is an example of the humanitarian crisis in Tigray.
According to one aid worker, About 600,000 innocent civilians fled the war zones and took refuge in Shire City and its surrounding areas.
“More than 120,000 people were sleeping in the forest, under trees,” said an aid worker who asked not to be named out of fear for their safety.
Following the heavy beatings by the Ethiopian forces last week, almost all aid workers have left Shiren.
Thousands of city residents are leaving the Shire, fearing that they will be attacked by Shirem, just like other cities that have come under the control of Ethiopian and Eritrean forces.
The aid worker said, “Four eyewitnesses said that 46 people were kidnapped and killed in Shmeblina village in September.” The villagers found the people’s bodies mixed with the bodies of the killed domestic animals,” he said.
“The hyenas have eaten the corpses of some people. The men were distinguished by the clothes they wore. According to the eyewitnesses, there was no time to bury the people. They said that the hyenas may have eaten the corpses by now,” he added.
He said the fact that the killings were carried out on a small number of people from the Kunama ethnic group who did not participate in the war made it even worse.
“Both sides are losing soldiers. “When they enter the villages, they are directed at the residents,” the aid worker added.
Before the Tigray forces returned to Tigray, they were accused of brutality, extrajudicial killings, and looting while in Amhara and Afar regions.
Outdated fighting style
Apart from the crisis of the war, all the warring forces are accused of using “human waves” to maintain their supremacy and forcibly recruiting people into the military.
Abdurrahman Said, a UK-based African affairs analyst, said: “People are being forced into the military. After a few weeks of training, they are sent in large numbers to areas where enemy forces are stationed, and explosives are buried.
“The enemy forces opened fire and killed most of them. They will continue to march in large numbers until the enemy runs out of ammunition and will control the area,” they added.
Abdur Rahman added, “It is an outdated fighting style.” The king of Abyssinia used this route in the early 1890s to defeat the Italian invaders. “Although the Italian force is superior in the air force, it has tested its capabilities when many people are sent to it,” he said.
Abdurahman says that this way of war will kill many people and that 700,000 to 800,000 people lost their lives in the two-year war.
“The war is the worst in the history of Ethiopia,” he added.
Faisal Roble, an analyst of the Horn of Africa, based in the United States, although he does not accept that the Tigray forces used waves of people, he puts a number close to Abdurahman’s in terms of the number of people who died in the war.
“About 500 thousand people died in the first two parts of the war. In the third round, 100,000 people must have died,” he said.
According to Faisal, the Tigray forces are adequately trained and “allowed” to fight, while the Ethiopian troops are superior in numbers and air power.
“According to the generals who are now ambassadors, the Ethiopian government can recruit a million young men yearly. They also have fighter jets and proven Turkish drones. But the Tigray forces do not have an air force,” they explain.
Faisal says that the command of the Ethiopian Air Force has been moved to Asmara, the capital of Eritrea. He mentioned that if fighter jets were to fly from the seat of the Ethiopian Air Force, they would take off from Asmara, which is closer to Tigray.
The drones, however, are still of mock origin.
Eritrea entered the war because of the rift with the TPLF.
Until Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed came to power, TPLF was in charge of the administration of the coalition party.
Eighty thousand people died in the border war between Ethiopia and Eritrea. The TPLF-led administration has not transferred the territory Ethiopia had given to Eritrea.
Two years ago, when the war broke out in northern Ethiopia, Eritrea seized the territory.
Critics say that Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki supports Prime Minister Abiy in destroying the TPLF to prevent the TPLF from becoming a threat to Eritrea.
“The threat of Eritrea; The TPLF will come back to govern Ethiopia, or it will form an administration under the command of Asmara and use the Red Sea. Tigray is still undeveloped and landless,” says Abdurahman.
As the war in Tigray has escalated in the last few weeks, the Eritrean government has deployed its troops on a large scale and is hunting down people who have not joined the forces and turning them into soldiers across the country; many sources told the BBC.
In September, Eritrean soldiers entered a church in Akron and kidnapped a priest, young parishioners, and choir members who refused to be called to the military.
According to Prof. Alex de Waal, the military call indicates that President Isaias will “use any option” but has not yet sent large conscripts to Tigray.
“Eritrea has forces in Tigray. Most of the fighting is going on with the Ethiopian forces. Isaiah leads the battle because he believes he can show Abiy how to win the battle. However, since the war is a matter of life and death, the natives of Tigray will fight even with knives and stones,” he explained.
There may be no speech.
Abdurahman says that the war is being fought on four to six fronts and that tens of thousands of Ethiopian and Eritrean soldiers are stationed near Adigrat.
“They are ready to attack in Adigrat and Mekele,” they added.
Frontline sources told the BBC; Ethiopian and Eritrean forces have started moving towards the historic Axum, Adwa, and Adigrat from Kesher.
Although the international community urged the two sides to resolve the conflict peacefully, Abdur Rahman does not believe there will be a dialogue.
“Historically, the ruling classes of today’s Ethiopia, the former Abyssinia, fight for power. The mighty will be king of kings until another mighty one comes. There is no culture of peaceful conflict resolution. It is a method of multiplying by zero,” they explain.
According to Prof. Alex, the international community should establish an immediate ceasefire.
“If this is not the case, the threat of genocide and mass starvation is looming,” they say.
According to a group led by Belgian scholars at the beginning of this year, more than 250,000 Tigray natives have died of starvation and related causes since the start of the war.