Information coming out of Mekelle is grim. People are afraid of talking about the details of what happened to them during the shelling of Mekelle. Some said ‘what happened on 28 Nov 20202 is hard to describe with words”. They said now there is widespread looting and searches. Stores, hotels and houses have been looting and the city is emptied out. There is no cash, there is no supply and prices have quadrupled. There is starvation and thirst in the city. People and communities have been surviving by sharing whatever anyone has. Many people visit houses asking for just something to eat.
People have been scattered and families do not know the whereabouts of each other. Contacts told Tghat that before the invading forces entered Mekelle, there was heavy shelling of the residential areas of kebeles 05 and 03. The shelling came from the direction of Messebo and therefore thousands of people fled to the south western outskirts and beyond. But then another fighting broke out around there too and the people were scattered to all directions. Some went to the direction of Samere, others to the west and yet others to other directions. As a result of this, families are still separated and they do not know the whereabouts of their loved ones or whether they are alive or killed.
Contacts told us that they witnessed killed people from the shelling. Young males are targeted by the invading forces. People in Mekelle have information that the invading forces had massacred hundreds of young males in Wukro city, some 42 Kms north of Mekelle. There is therefore fear among young males and they are afraid to go out of their homes. Similarly, young females are afraid of rape by the invading soldiers and they avoid being seen by them. As a result, the city is empty.
Clearly, there is a collective punishment of Tigrayans by a deliberate starvation and thirst together with massacres. This is in Mekelle, where the invading forces are incentivized to keep minimum damage. Imagine the rest of Tigray?