The Mai Kadra Genocide: Perpetrators Acting as Victims

25 Feb 2021

On the night of November 4, 2020, the Tigray People`s Liberation Front (TPLF) organized and commanded the Special Police Force of Tigray, the militia and its secretly organized treasonous members of the national army to massacre and capture the Northern Command of the Ethiopian National Defence Forces (ENDF). Following this treasonous act, the government was forced to engage in a law enforcement operation and the ENDF acted swiftly. The TPLF was unable to stand the gallant forces with a just cause and was on the run. Parallel to its retreat to the center of Tigray, between 9-10 November 2020, TPLF’s extremist clique and its retreating armed men and youth organized as Samri in a town called Mai Kadra undertook a mass killing of hundreds of non-Tigrean civilians notably the Amharas.

Amnesty International in its 12 November 2020 concluded that the organization has “confirmed the massacre of a very large number of civilians, who appear to have been day labourers in no way involved in the ongoing military offensive. This is a horrific tragedy whose true extent only time will tell…” Amnesty International has reached this conclusion after investigating the situation using satellite imagery which was geolocated to Mai Kadra and based on eyewitnesses who confirmed, “on the morning of 10 November, to find dead bodies strewn all over the town, as well as injured survivors.” Furthermore, an independent human rights organization, Ethiopian Human Rights Commission released its final report based on the investigation it conducted sending experts on the ground on 14-19 November 2020 concluding that “the probe finds atrocity crimes which may amount to crimes against humanity and war crimes were committed by ‘Samri’ group, aided & abetted by then-local admin, police & militia.”

Following the massacre, according to local sources, many of the individuals who committed such heinous crimes dropping their machine guns, machetes, and changing their clothes have crossed the Sudanese border acting victims. These criminals mostly youth from the ‘Samri’ group, former local administrators and members of the militia who directly involved in the crime are now sheltering in refugee camps in Sudan and running from justice.

More sadly, these criminals in the name of refugees are now also a source of misinformation. We have seen them misinforming the international media, representatives of international organizations, and foreign governments visiting refugee camps trying to hide their crimes and appear innocent by accusing the victims and survivors of the massacre. Their fictitious stories are aimed at hiding the truth in an attempt to reverse the narrative.

Using the refugee camps in Sudan as their sanctuary and in the name of being a refuge, the goal is to tell the story of TPLF in an attempt to give it life. Against the norm and practice, the recent celebration of TPLF`s anniversary in the refugee camps is a testimony. where these people are standing and what their goal is. Also what is observed is the criminal elements are seemingly to engage in a futile exercise of reorganizing themselves to go back to Ethiopia and continue their malicious activities. The engagement of the host country, the international community, and the media with these refugee camps, therefore, should be with caution as they may be inappropriately used to serve the purpose of the criminals.

Innocent civilians in these refugee camps are also ensnared by the misinformation and propaganda of the criminals. Most of them want to go back home but the fear-monger criminals frightening them as if it is not safe back home. The areas where the refugees come from is now stable, all government offices giving services, infrastructures rehabilitated, communication restored, business running and schools opened. They can come back to their home and the Government of Ethiopia will work towards their safe repatriation and wholeheartedly support rebuilding their life.

Source: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia

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