Spotlight

Massacres in the Dark

Investigative journalist Lucy Kassa recounts the emotional challenges of covering the conflict in Northern Ethiopia for 11 months.

The following piece is explicit in the descriptions of the war in the Northern regions of Ethiopia. Reader discretion is advised.

"Five Ethiopian soldiers came to our house to rape me," a young woman from Wukro tells me. Wukro is a town. Sits along the Genfel river. Tigray region. Northern Ethiopia. This is war. Government forces and The Tigray People's Liberation Front kill at will.

"My brother tried to defend me from them," she continues. "The soldiers shot him in the head and took turns raping me. They raped me beside his [body]."

I am a reporter. I cover this conflict. I investigate war crimes. It is edging toward its eleventh month. The conflict keeps growing: TPLF forces are now in the Amhara region, Afar and the ancient city of Lalibela. Prime Minister Abiy called for the entire country to take up arms against them.

I am tired of the war. I am tired of the lies and propaganda. The suffering of innocents. The madness. Every day I steel myself for what horror or tragedy will befall my people in the next stretch of hours. I am used to horrors I should not be used to. Burned bodies, mutilated bodies, shockingly emaciated children, horrifying testimonies, haunting images, unimaginable evil.

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