Amnesty International can confirm that Eritrean troops killed three civilians and wounded at least 19 others in an unprovoked assault on civilians in Adwa town on April 12.
According to witnesses, Eritrean troops were passing through the town, which is located in the Tigray area, when they opened fire on people on the main street near the bus station.
“Three people were killed and at least 19 others were injured in yet another unlawful assault on civilians in Tigray by Eritrean troops. Deliberate attacks on civilians are illegal under international humanitarian law and must be stopped,” said Sarah Jackson, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
“In the current conflict in Tigray, we are calling for an international investigation into this and other events and accusations of human rights abuses, including war crimes and alleged crimes against humanity.”
Some of the wounded were taken to Don Bosco hospital in Adwa city, according to six witnesses, and 19 of them were rushed to Axum referral hospital for advanced medical treatment.
“The Eritrean soldiers on the back of one Ural military truck and another heavy truck began shooting,” Teklu*, who works at the bus station, told Amnesty International. We dispersed in various directions. I took refuge in the wash. Since they were swearing in Tigrinya and the heavy trucks had Eritrean number plates and Eritrean defense force camouflages, we realized they were Eritrean soldiers. They were firing from the moving trucks’ backs.”
“I was walking from my shop which is near the PanAfric hotel towards the bus station,” Sertse*, who was also near the bus station at the time of the incident, told Amnesty International. After the two trucks passed me, the shooting began immediately. The soldiers on the first truck were shouting in Tigrinya to the rickshaw drivers to get off the lane. The soldiers on the second truck then began to fire their guns. On the highway, there was a large crowd.”
According to a member of the medical staff at Axum University Teaching and Referral Hospital, all of the people who were brought in had been shot in the chests, stomachs, legs, and hands, and six of them were in critical condition as of April 13th. One girl was in shock due to blood loss, and other patients had broken hands and legs, according to the staffer.
“The Eritrean soldiers came on two heavy trucks from the Adi Abun area,” Solomon*, another witness, said. When the shooting began around 8 a.m., I was on the road just outside my house. It came out of nowhere, and I assumed there was a gunfight nearby. In reality, there was no fighting and just a few shots were fired.
“For war crimes and human rights abuses in Tigray, there must be justice and accountability. An international investigation into this attack and other reports of abuses must be conducted objectively and impartially. According to Sarah Jackson, Ethiopia and Eritrea must fully comply with such inquiries and provide complete reparations to victims and their families.