We witnessed Somali and Eritrean mercenaries as casualties in Mekelle during the Ethiopian Tigray conflict. We know that instead of being allowed to stay in Ayder Hospital, transferred to the local military hospital, or to Amhara instead they ultimately disappeared after a transfer to a stadium. Many Somali mothers whose young men where taken by the former Somali government to Eritrea to join forces invading Tigray in November 20202 are asking what happened to their sons? Similar questions are being asked of the Eritrean government by Eritrean mothers.
I was present at Mekelle University Ayder Hospital as a faculty member during the early Mekelle occupation by invading forces. We cared for many casualties of war including civilians and combatants from Tigray and the invading forces. We identified both Eritreans and Somalis in Ethiopian uniform. The locals easily recognized the accent and mannerisms of Shabia which is the term they use for Eritreans. Similarly we had many doctors in training from Somalia and Somaliland who were able to communicate with the Somali mercenaries.
However, the supervising Ethiopian Defense Force quickly moved these foreign mercenaries from Ayder to a makeshift hospital with high security set up at the Mekelle soccer stadium. Apparently there were no doctors there or any type of medical equipment. One wonders what was the fate of these mercenary forces who were injured and required medical treatment? No patient was found there when the ENDF retreated. Apparently families in Eritrea and Somali have been told nothing.