10 refugees told to wear Eritrean army uniforms
This boy was shot in his hands by militia on night of 5-6 December. He was fleeing Hitsats in group of 40 and was attacked by 6-7 militia men. They selected 10 refugees and told them to wear Eritrean army uniforms. They also gave them knives and told them to cut breasts of women from the group.
As militia men were preparing to film the scene with their mobiles, an older refugee man started fighting with them. Others used this opportunity to escape. Some got killed. That’s when the boy I spoke to got shot in his hands. He ran away, and took off the Eritrean army uniform.
As there were many dead bodies on the way, he had to remove clothes from a corpse and wear them. He used a t-shirt to stop the bleeding. He reached Zebangedena around 6am but was then caught by another militia group who returned refugees to Hitsats. They were with local villagers.
Mostly young men but also few women who were armed with axes and sticks and shouted ‘we will kill you’. Refugees had to walk for 12h non stop without water and food. Those who were exhausted and tried to have a rest were shot. The boy I spoke to saw one person killed in front of him.
Upon arrival he saw his shelter plundered. 4 people died shortly after that due to lack of medical help: this was middle aged woman (that I mentioned in another testimony), 1 young man and 2 young women. Situation in Hitsats was by that time dire, there was no food and no clean water.
Natalia Paszkiewicz – Migrant Anthropologist.