At least 30 corpses have washed up on the Sudanese banks of a river that abuts Ethiopia’s northern region of Tigray, according to two Ethiopian refugees and four Sudanese witnesses who told media on Thursday morning they had retrieved the bodies.
The bodies were found in the Setit River, known in Ethiopia as the Tekeze, which is the current de facto borderline between territory controlled by Tigrayan forces and those controlled by Amhara forces allied with Ethiopia’s federal government.
At a different point the river also separates Sudan from Ethiopia.
Dr. Tewodros Tefera, a surgeon who escaped from the Ethiopian border town of Humera, told Reuters he buried 10 bodies over the past six days in Sudan and was told by local fishermen and refugees another 28 had been recovered, including seven on Monday.
They were shot in their chest, abdomen, legs... and also had their hands tied, he said adding that he had been able to identify three bodies belonging to Tigrayans from Humera, with the help of refugees. Many Tigrayans from Humera fled into Sudan when the fighting began.
He shared two videos showing men digging a grave for a body that washed up on the shore and men burying what appears to be the same body in the freshly dug grave.
An Ethiopian refugee from Humera, who asked for anonymity for fear of repercussions for his family still in Ethiopia, said he found nine bodies.
We found nine. They tied them up with a rope and they were swollen, but there’s no marks of them being hit or shot, he said.
He shared pictures showing bruised and swollen corpses lying on the banks of the river.
Redwan Hussein, head of the Ethiopian government’s emergency task force on Tigray, and Colonel Getnet Adane, Ethiopia’s military spokesman, did not respond to a comment on the bodies.