Religious leaders, Esaias, and Abiy Ahmed together created a cruel plan for genocide incorporating common Ethiopian Orthodox Church folklore and belief of the Tigray people. The human atrocities committed by Eritreans and Ethiopians on the people of Tigray were part of a deeper psychological warfare to encourage Ethiopian and Eritrean soldiers to commit atrocity while creating fear and panic among the Tigray involving hyena and Christian resurrection.
The attempted complete conquest of Tigray involved devious input from Amhara religious leaders, Ethiopia, and Eritrea. Recent revelation about how Eritrean dictator Esaias Afwerki was the mastermind while Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was the puppet on a string was revealed in Eritrea Hub. Esaias it is claimed is now directing all policy of Ethiopia towards Tigray as well as taking over intelligence functions and propaganda.
The Ethiopian Orthodox Church which makes up 90% of Tigray places great importance on the promise of the resurrection of both the soul and the physical human body after death by their faith in Christ. The start of Christianity in Ethiopia began in what is now Tigray but only after centuries of being Jewish. As a result in Ethiopia the Orthodox Church uniquely follows many Jewish customs.
They believe that the dead must be buried in consecrated natural ground to allow it to return to dust. Remembering that Christ upon his resurrection showed Thomas his wound as told in the Gospel of John to prove his identity as well as the idea that the body is a holy creation of God there is a great fear among the common folk that disfigurement or dissacration of the body before or even after death will affect one’s resurrection. For example, in the hospital in Mekelle, many would refuse amputation even if it was necessary to safe life because they feared resurrection without a leg or arm.
The corruption of the body starting soon after death as well as the body being unclean makes it necessary to be interred quickly usually within a day or two after death. This is why you see, for example, the sense of urgency given by those recovering dead bodies from the Tekeze River in Western Tigray to bury them quickly.
Killing civilians or soldiers then burning them or leaving them unburied is done to convince the Tigrayans (Tegaru) that Ethiopia and her ally Eritrea have the unholy evil power to effect afterlife. This for what is commonly referred as the countryside people is quite terrifying. At the same time the Amhara and Eritreans are encouraged that they are killing a nonhuman entity.
The use of term hyena has two specific meanings when used in propaganda by Abiy Ahmed’s religious supporters. Many Orthodox believers see the world as having significant mystical components including evil and good magic as a part of their faith. The hyena is seen as a potentially supernatural being who can transform from beast to man and has evil magical powers called buda. Having lived in Amhara for almost two years some time ago, I witnessed how whenever a hyena was killed on the highway local people would often come to harvest its gallbladder which was is said to have magical powers.
The hyena is a powerful scavenger that finds it prey or carrion at night. The powerful jaws it possesses can easily crush bone so that it if finds a human corpse the whole body may be consumed without a trace. If the body is not placed in holy ground then folklore would say that resurrection may not occur. Hyenas can attack not only the body but the soul in Ethiopian folklore. Those attacked by hyena may require religious exorcism says local folklore.
In a recorded interchange between a captured Amhara soldier and the avenging Tegaru farmers in Hawzen in March of this year this exact fear was told to the farmers. The enemy soldier feared he would be executed and consumed by wild animals without burial. He requested at least to be killed by a church so he could be buried in one piece on consecrated ground. This also shows how the attacking Amhara where propagandized as well to see their enemy as unholy and evil. Ultimately the farmers did not kill the captured soldier but he was sent to a POW camp in Mekelle.
Referring to Tegaru as hyena is also dehumanizing them. Werehyena are hyenas that can camoflage themselves as man and carry out death and destruction. Convincing Amharas and others that Tegaru have an inherently evil nature that must be destroyed and can only be by death of the whole population. In other words they are giving an excuse for genocide. When they kill Tigray they are killing evil not men.