The Gashena Massacre Photo Diary by Abel Gashaw

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Abel Gashaw


On December 1, TPLF troops operating in Gashena deliberately massacred more than 60 civilians—mostly elderly, mothers and young children– in retaliation as they retreat from the town.


As an independent photographer embedded in the army, I arrived in Gashena with the troops in midst of an active battle. We were received by residents who are stricken by grief and attending—crying and weeping—a burial at the nearby St. Micheal church. It was the most tragic, traumatizing and heartbreaking scene that I have ever witnessed in my life.


I have personally counted 40 civilians being buried that day. The trauma, the shock, the inhumanity and the savagery is beyond the pale.


During the massacre of the Amhara civilians in Gashena in the hands of TPLF troops, there was no any Federal army or forces inside the town at that time. The indiscriminate killing was targeted against ordinary civilians, young and old, sick or healthy, men and women, father and son. These poor, unarmed civilans who do not even have shoes to wear and barely eke out a living were deliberately massacred.

December 1 / 2021
Gashena/ Semen Wello