East Africa correspondent Cara Anna, based in Kenya, reported the first detailed account of crimes being committed by Eritrean military forces within Ethiopia’s isolated Tigray region. Journalists following the deepening humanitarian crisis in the defiant northern Ethiopian region had struggled to find credible eyewitness accounts of the Eritreans' presence.

After weeks of persistent effort, Anna’s remote reporting finally paid off: A source put her in touch with a woman, normally a resident of Colorado, who, while on a trip to Ethiopia to visit relatives, had witnessed Eritrean troops and their crimes firsthand in the remote village where her mother lives. Anna was able to draw out shocking details of the killing of children, bodies dumped in mass graves and the looting of homes.

The story, widely used by AP clients, was hailed as the first to document Eritrean activity in Tigray. Anna followed up with a second scoop in which the U.S. State Department called for all Eritrean forces to leave Tigray immediately, citing “credible reports” of atrocities.

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Refugees who fled the conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region gather at Umm Rakouba refugee camp in Qadarif, eastern Sudan, Dec. 4, 2020.

AP Photo / Nariman El-Mofty