Outrage as bodies with gunshot wounds and hands bound are found in river between Ethiopia’s Tigray region and Sudan as U.S. aid chief visits Ethiopia to end devastating war and famine

Outrage has exploded after a Sudanese official confirmed that more than 40 bodies of people apparently fleeing the war in Ethiopia’s Tigray region had been found floating in the river between Sudan and Ethiopia.

One of the pictures sent to Today News Africa in Washington D.C. show the body of a man with gunshot wounds and his hands tied behind his back.

Other gruesome pictures are hard to describe and cannot be published as they show pure horror.

Eritrean President Isaias Afwerkii is welcomed by Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed upon his arrival at Addis Ababa International Airport, Ethiopia, Saturday, July 14, 2018. (AP Photo Mulugeta Ayene) 
Eritrean President Isaias Afwerkii is welcomed by Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed upon his arrival at Addis Ababa International Airport, Ethiopia, Saturday, July 14, 2018. (AP Photo Mulugeta Ayene)

The AP quoted the Sudanese official who spoke on condition of anonymity as saying Monday that a forensic investigation would be needed to determine the causes of death, and two Ethiopian health workers in the Sudan border community of Hamdayet as confirming seeing the bodies found in the Setit River, known in Ethiopia as the Tekeze.

“The river flows through some of the most troubled areas of the nine-month conflict in Tigray, where ethnic Tigrayans have accused Ethiopian and allied forces of atrocities while battling Tigray forces,” AP wrote, adding that Tewodros Tefera, a surgeon who fled the nearby Tigray city of Humera to Sudan, said two of the bodies were found Monday, “one a man with his hands bound and the other a woman with a chest wound.”

Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, who now leads the U.S. Agency for International Development, gives an opening statement at her U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing in Washington, DC, U.S., March 23, 2021. Greg Nash/Pool via REUTERS 
Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, who now leads the U.S. Agency for International Development, gives an opening statement at her U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing in Washington, DC, U.S., March 23, 2021. Greg Nash/Pool via REUTERS

The latest horrors in the region come as the U.S. aid chief Samantha Power is visiting Sudan and Ethiopia and has said she will press the government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali of Ethiopia to allow humanitarian access into the region.

The United States, she said last week, is focused on preventing famine in the region, ending the war and holding those responsible for human rights abuses to account.

The United Nations has said that hundreds of thousands of people in Tigray are at an increased risk of famine and Germany said last month that the war was exploding again and destabilizing the region.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed who won the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize has pursued war and deaths rather than peace and reconciliation. Calls by the United States, the United Nations and others to allow unhindered humanitarian access into Tigray have been ignored even as things have continued to worsen.

Chief White House Correspondent for

Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

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