Letter to Islamic Council

Eritrea Ethiopia Open Letters Tigray

Dear Sir / Madam,

We are a group of diasporas residing in UK with origin from Tigray/Ethiopia. We call our Group ‘Mekete Tigray UK ‘.

We were set up during the Covid emergency time in July 2020, with intention to support Tigray, because the Ethiopian Government had refused to provide PPE to Tigray. We felt we should help, yet the problem was coupled by 42,000 migrants stuck in Yemen and Saudi Arabia. Of those, 80% of them were Tigrayans. Even now there are where 20,000 languishing in Saudi prisons the majority again Tigrayans. All these migrants suffer because Prime Minster Abiy refused to repatriate them and Saudi doesn’t want them.

As if that wasn’t enough, it was followed by the Desert Locust which ravaged the harvest of Tigrayan farmers before the war broke. Ethiopian government refused the request of Tigrayan farmers hence the ministry of agriculture declined.

While this group was trying to support ethnically targeted Tigray also, expose the subjugation, and targeted persecution against Tigrayans, the unexpected happened.

Tigray and their legitimate government are attacked in the name of ‘law enforcement operation’. A month has passed since the military assault started with no sign of stopping but the world thinks it has.

  1. We are writing this appeal letter to you to help us stop the war and ethnic cleansing on Tigrayans. Tigray is a land and a sanctuary of all faith. Sadly, that is changing rapidly since Prime Minster Abiy launched war on the National and Regional State of Tigray. On 4th November 2020, In the capital city of Tigray, Mekelle a capital city, with its 500,000 habitants, a missile was launched. it was shelled with rockets indiscriminately. The prime minster then issued a state of emergency, restricting any movement of Tigrayans; at the same time, blocking all communication means. No telephone, internet, TV, electricity, water, transport etc. no medicine, major hospital of Mekelle, Ayder Hospital was hit by missile. We have heard doctors operating the injured with no Anaesthetics. The pharmaceutical factory in Adigrat, another smaller city in Tigray was also destroyed and looted.
  2. Those attacking are the Ethiopian Army, the Amhara Militia, the Eritrean Army, drones from the UAE based in Eritrea, also, reported Somali mercenaries. Although the systematic and collective punishment of Tigrayans and Tigray has been for over two years, the physical war has now passed a month and 4days.
  3. We cannot confirm, but we are disturbed by the news that ancient rock-hewn Christian Churches in Tigray had been hit by drone attacks, along with the oldest Mosque in Africa, the Al Nejashi Mosque, in the village of Negash in Wikro town, which was refurbished in 2018. The Mosque dates back to the 7th century, the first sanctuary of Islam where Prophet Mohammed sent his followers to flee persecution history tell us. The Axum Zion Church, is the ‘Jerusalem of Ethiopia’ based in Axum-Tigray. It is the home of the ‘Arch of the Covenant’ that’s also under threat. Tigrayans of all faith are distraught psychologically as they see their rich heritage being destroyed forever. The reports of attacks on the ancient Churches and Mosque came few days ago, accompanying the awful humanitarian atrocities confirmed by the UN in Sudan and by the ICRC in Mekelle.
  4. Tigrayans were puzzled by Abiy’s act of bullying and intimidation across Ethiopia since he took power. Nonetheless, Abiy Ahmed is glorified internationally as a ‘reformist’, granting him a Nobel Prize in 2019. His time was meant to be until May 2020, where Ethiopian regional and national Election were to take place. That didn’t happen with excuse of Covid, despite the fact that only 7 people died of Covid up to May 2020. The world didn’t mean to care but show sympathy towards him.
  5. Now, following the war in Tigray, around 50,000 refugees have already fled to Sudan and the number is expected to grow higher. There have been reports of mass killings of civilians also, abuse of human rights everywhere in Tigray. 100,000 Eritrean refugees hosted in Tigray are at a grave danger by Eritrean government who is part in this war. There are reports of forced conscription of young Eritreans by the Eritrean Army from the refugee camps. Tigrayans also Eritreans in the diaspora are unable to contact family members; they are extremely worried and some are hearing horrifying news from those who flee. The government said the war has stopped but it is untrue.
  6. Last Saturday the city of Mekelle with its half a million-population was bombed again, resulting many casualties of civilians. The main hospital has run out of medical supplies and desperately pleading for help from the international community. All these atrocities have been denied by the Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed saying not a single person died. Eritrea deliberately remains silent so has the Ethiopian community on the involvement of Eritrea yet, the fleeing refugees tell a different story, so does this exclusive report link https://www.reuters.com/article/ethiopia-conflict-eritrea/exclusive-u-s-thinks-eritrea-has-joined-ethiopian-war-diplomats-say-idUSKBN28I1OX
  7. There has been ethnic profiling of Tigrayans in other parts of Ethiopia and many thousands have lost their jobs; had their homes searched and some imprisoned or under house arrest also disappeared. All Tigrayans Bank account has been frozen; Bank books taken; property confiscated. Ethnic profiling has become the practice of all government institutions. For example, all Tigrayan Ethiopian Airlines staff, have been sacked that was reported on The Telegraph last week.
  8. Ethiopian Airlines was established by Tigrayans historically, a world renown Airlines whose CEO was Tigrayan. Others who work in civil services jobs, the army; the police and so on are thrown out jobs. The ethnic profiling goes beyond Ethiopia. The government and its supporters are pursuing the removal of Doctor Tedros Adhanom of WHO (a Tigrayan) from his United Nations job. Many UN and AU staff, Peacekeeping Forces of Tigrayan Origin have been removed since the conflict. The people of Tigray are under missile attack all over Tigray no single place is spared. Tigray is a little bigger than Scotland with a population estimated over 8 million. Before the war, it had its own devolved regional government that held election on 9 September 2020 where the TPLF (Tigray People Liberation Front) won by majority. (The name was adopted when it was set up in 1970’s while fighting against a military and Marxist Dictator)
  9. Tigray was the most peaceful place of the 9 other regions of Ethiopia before the war. It had a government elected by 2.8 million people of Tigray, sadly today its capital city Mekele has been bombed 14 between 4 November -28 November 2020.
  10. Tigray is a sacred land of all faith. That land is now under destruction for ones and for all. The people of Tigray are fleeing in thousands as stated above. This war is going to change the whole of the Horn of Africa and no one should take it lightly. Hence, we appeal to your Council and other faith denomination leaders, to do whatever you can help for the plight of this disaster in Tigray, our homeland our hearts are broken not only our ancestors land. What we have left is faith on faith leaders and the international and humanitarian community.

We wait in the hope that your voice will contribute to bring peace to the region and restore whatever is

left in Tigray. We also hope to hear from you while we thank you for your cooperation in advance.


Yours sincerely

Mekete Tigray UK steering group



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