Eritrean troops disguised as Ethiopian military to black any individual attempting to cross, reach, and give critical aid in Tigray. In addition to the blockage, the Eritrean troops are killing, excecuting, and raping the citizens of Ethiopia even months after they pledged that they would leave. According to CNN, they sent a team “traveling through Tigray’s central zone [the CNN team] witnessed Eritrean soldiers, some disguising themselves in old Ethiopian military uniforms, manning checkpoints, obstructing and occupying critical aid routes, roaming the halls of one of the region’s few operating hospitals and threatening medical staff”. It is apparent that the Eritrean troops have no intention of exiting the border region anytime soon.
Axum, the holiest city in Ethiopia was cut off from the outside world from Eritrean soldiers. According to CNN, “Ethiopian security officials working with Tigray’s interim administration told CNN that the Ethiopian government has no control over Eritrean soldiers operating in Ethiopia, and that Eritrean forces had blocked roads into central Tigray for over two weeks and in the northwestern part of the region for nearly one month”.
As the CNN team attempts to reach Axum, they are held back by both Ethiopian and Eritrean soldiers multiple times over several days. One time, the team was waved through an Ethiopian checkpoint, but a few miles after, an Eritrean checkpoint ordered them to turn around. The Eritrean troops were wearing what once used to be an Ethiopian’s military suit. They also ordered the cameras to be turned off, but CNN had a covert camera that was the first to catch footage of an Eritrean troop checkpoint. According to CNN, “[the] CNN [team] was turned back by an Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF) Command operating out of a former USAID distribution center in the outskirts of the city of Adigrat, where several trucks laden with sacks of desperately needed food sat languishing in the hot sun. The aid, bound for communities in Tigray’s starved central zone, had been stopped from going any further despite daily phone calls from humanitarian workers pleading for access”.
As CNN reached Axum, they found that many were already attacked by the Eritrean troops; women were raped, civilians were shot, and a woman had to risk her and her baby’s life to get the baby oxygen for his special condition. After stopping any critical supplies like oxygen tanks and blood donation, Axum has been witnessing so many deaths they could have prevented, if only it wasn’t for the Eritrean’s blockage of supplies.