Cannibalism and burial disruption against Tigrayans is not new to Amhara and SNNP

Amhara militia commander, Worku Aytenew advises his soldiers to burn and eat the flesh of Tigrayans on video.

The confirmed reports of burning Tigrayan captives for possible later consumption and statements encouraging such behavior by Amharic and SNNP leaders is no surprise when the history of cannibalism in Ethiopia is reviewed. The joint action of members of Amhara and SNNP forces draws attention to documented previous cultural practices of these groups.

One of the earliest reports of what is called famine cannibalism are found in a report by YeHarer Tarik in Harar in the 17th century. In wars between Christians and Muslims there were severe famines leading those in Harar to kill weak individuals, butcher, and sell their remains as “goat meat”. Other reports exist of Amhara doing similar acts in fights against the Oromo in the late 19th century. 

Mortuary cannibalism has been seen in the southwest area of the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples of Southern Ethiopia. There groups of people called quamtut are known to secretly rob graves to harvest fresh bodies. For this reason recent burials are often guarded for over a month. A third group of cannibal behavior which occurs during daylight and involves the intimidation of its victims who are usually enemies is named gorogoro.

Cannibalism against enemy is also a form of ancient psychological warfare practiced in central and southern regions of Ethiopia. Pagan peoples and Christians both believe that destruction of the body before it is allowed natural corruption in the ground can have negative effects on future generations. From my experience in treating Ethiopian Orthodox Christians it is well established that believers fear life saving amputation for injury or diabetes complications because they fear it will affect their reincarnation. Consumption of the flesh of an enemy weakens the opposing clan’s powers.

Similarly the practice of the Ethiopian Orthodox believers is to bury bodies within 24 hours as their Syriac Christianity derived beliefs order by Old Testament Law. Mutilating the body or allowing its consumption by scavager wildlife and not being interred properly can affect ones reincarnation. This is well known by the Amhara and used against the Tigray as a form of psychological genocide.

It is indeed ironic that in December 2020 Amharic expansionists were spreading false rumors that the native Gumuz people were attacking and eating “light skinned people” a shady reference to Amhara to incite hatred against them and justify their extrajudicial killing.

Author: Professor Tony Magana

Professor Tony Magana is Head of the Department of Neurosurgery, School of Medicine, College of Health Sciences at Mekelle University in Mekelle, Ethiopia. He directs a neurosurgery residency and training program as well as neuroscience research.

6 thoughts on “Cannibalism and burial disruption against Tigrayans is not new to Amhara and SNNP”

  1. Thank you professor Tony Magana for being standing with the truth #tigraygenocide. History will remember you and of course we(people of tigray) will remember you, thank you for your incredible service at #Mekell university, i know you in person you are working hard gentile man and loved by the staff members of Ayder comprehensive university college, i used to be one of them we love you.

  2. I thought Amhara elitists were civilized Christians whenever you see them preaching at churches like Daniel kisret ( kibret), WerkuAytenow, Andargachew Tselahut( Tsige),but I was wrong to based on what they’re doing on #TigrayGenocide, ethinic cleansing Benshangul people and Oromia. They have degraded the most people they’ve come from #Amhara like #IssayasAfework soliders. Shameful Ethiopia 🇪🇹 and Eritrea 🇪🇷!

  3. I have never been ashamed of being Ethiopian orthodox believer nowadays because of what’s going on in Ethiopia 🇪🇹 😪 #TigrayGenocide
    #AllowAccessToTigray

  4. This is an eye opener to the level of the atrocities, the degree of genocide far sorest than what happened in mankind. Hitler have I humanly treated Jews but, Amhara cannibalized Tigray. Just reading the evidence is enough. This will remain in the book forever.
    Thank you professor for your in-depth knowledge base informative to the world how Tigrians have suffered on the hands of Amhara.

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