“It is with great sorrow & grief that we share here the incomplete list of Irob civilians killed by Eritrean soldiers during the mass killing campaign in about just 2 weeks of late December 2020 to early January 2021,” the Irob Advocacy Association said in a Tweet on Saturday.
“These civilians [see list of victims here & here] did not take part in combat mission. They were simply civilian farmers – primarily young male adults & teenagers,” the Association said, adding “We cry for justice!”
On January 24, 2001, the Belgian based Europe External Programme with Africa (EEPA) reported that Eritrean soldiers, controlling many districts in Irob land, killed many Tigrayan young men: “We hear Eritrean soldiers told the local elders and parents that, they have orders to kill all male youth older than 15.”
Eritrean soldiers were also seen distributing Eritrean I.D. cards to citizens in Irob, Tigray. Many people had to fled to the mountains and hide in caves, according to EEPA.
The Irob people are an ethnic minority group who are situated in the traditional Agamä Awrajja, Tigray Region, bordered with Afar region of Ethiopia to the East and Saho of Eritrea to the North. They speak the Saho language, the same language spoken by the Saho people of Eritrea.
The Saho people of Eritrea are indigenous people in Eritrea marginalized by the Eritrean Geovernment who refuses to admit the existence of any indigenous people.
The Irob people were most affected by the outbreak of Ethiopian-Eritrean war of 1998-2000. Next to Badime, Irob became the prime target of Eritrean invasion and the consequent destructive high-tech warfare.
Since Eritrea joined the military offensive against the Tigray regional government launched by the unelected Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed, Eritrean forces have been accused of summary execution, rape, looting and burning private and public properties, including refugee camps.
U.S. State Department officials told The Associated Press that they have directly “pressed senior levels” of Eritrea’s government to immediately withdraw from the embattled region. There were no details on how officials in Eritrea, one of the world’s most secretive countries, responded to the Biden administration demand.