Hagere Selam massacres

Coordinates: 13°38′52″N 39°10′22″E / 13.64769°N 39.17265°E / 13.64769; 39.17265

The Hagere Selam massacres were mass extrajudicial killings that took place in Hagere Selam in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia during the Tigray War, on 4 and 5 December 2020.[1]

Hagere Selam (Dogu’a Tembien)
Hagere Selam massacre
Part of Tigray War
Location of Hagere Selam in Tigray (Ethiopia)
LocationHagere Selam (Tigrinya: ሃገረ ሰላም), Tigray Region, Ethiopia
Date4-5 December 2020
Attack type
Deaths23 civilians
PerpetratorsEthiopia Ethiopian National Defence Force
Eritrea Eritrean Defence Forces


In Hagere Selam, where Belgian physical geographer Jan Nyssen has a secondary residence, Nyssen reported extrajudicial killings of 60 civilians during 4–5 December 2020 by the ENDF and EDF. The EDF then looted Hagere Selam during two days, including Nyssen's house, from which his fridge, bed, clothes, plastic basins and other goods were stolen.[2]

Typical massacres committed by Ethiopian and Eritrean soldiers in the Tigray war are (1) revenge when they lose a battle; (2) to terrorise and extract information about whereabouts of TPLF leaders; (3) murder of suspected family members of TDF fighters;[3] and (4) terrorising the Tigray society as a whole such as in case of mass killings in churches.[4] According to Europe External Programme with Africa (EEPA), the executions are interpreted as revenge for the EDF having lost a battle against Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) forces.[5]

Aftermath of the 2020 Hagere Selam massacre


The inhabitants interpreted the identity of the perpetrators as Eritrean and Ethiopian soldiers.[6]


The “Tigray: Atlas of the humanitarian situation” mentions 23 victims,[1] of which 21 have been identified.[6]


The “Tigray: Atlas of the humanitarian situation”,[1] that documented this massacre received international media attention, particularly with regard its Annex A, that lists the massacres.[4][7][8][9]

After months of denial by the Ethiopian authorities that massacres occurred in Tigray, a joint investigation by OHCHR and the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission has been announced in March 2021.[10]

While the Ethiopian government promised that Eritrean troops will be pulled out from Tigray, the Eritrean government denies any participation in warfare in Tigray, leave alone in massacres.[11]


  1. ^ a b c Annys, S., Vanden Bempt, T., Negash, E., De Sloover, L., Nyssen, J., 2021. Tigray: Atlas of the humanitarian situation, Annex A[self-published source]
  2. ^ Nyssen, Jan (2021). "The situation in Tigray at the beginning of 2021". ResearchGate. Archived from the original on 2021-01-14. Retrieved 2021-01-14.[self-published source]
  3. ^ Tigray Defence Forces, a military structure that came into existence during the Tigray War, consisting of a merger of Special Forces of the Tigray Regional Government, defected soldiers of the Ethiopian National Defense Force, local militia, members of Tigrayan political parties (TPLF, National Congress of Great Tigray, Salsay Weyane Tigray, Tigray Independence Party, ...) and numerous youth who fled to the mountains.
  4. ^ a b The World radio (2 April 2021): Counting the victims in Tigray
  5. ^ "Situation Report EEPA HORN No. 33 – 22 December" (PDF). Europe External Programme with Africa. 2020-12-22. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2021-01-12. Retrieved 2021-01-14.
  6. ^ a b TGHAT, A compilation of the verified list of civilian victims from different sources[self-published source]
  7. ^ EuroNews, 2 April 2021 – See film embedded in the news item: G7 'seriously concerned' about human rights violations in Ethiopia's Tigray region
  8. ^ CBC, 2 April 2021: As It Happens: The Friday Edition (from 28:00 to 35:30) Tigray, Ethiopia Massacre
  9. ^ The Guardian, 2 April 2021: Ethiopia: 1,900 people killed in massacres in Tigray identified
  10. ^ France24, 18 March 2021: UN rights chief agrees to joint Tigray probe
  11. ^ DW, 19 March 2021: Fact check: Are other nations involved in the war in Tigray?

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