(By Makonnen Tesfaye, 11 April 2021) –
“Every now and then, East Africa breaks into world consciousness. It happened in the mid-1980s, when Ethiopia underwent a terrible famine. Teams of pop stars made two hit “Charity Singles”: “We are the World” and “Do they Know it is Christmas?”. Today, Ethiopia is again in the news, for War in Tigray, a region in the country’s north. What is happening there is worse than war, if such a thing is possible. Tigray is a theatre for war crimes and crime against humanity. To make it more interesting – if that is the word – Ethiopia’s head of state is the 2019 Nobel Peace Laureate, Prime Minister of Ethiopia.”
(Jay Nordlinger, National Review; 22 March 2021)
“The unfolding catastrophes in the War on Tigray: 52,000 civilians killed over 90 days; 4.5 million Tigrayans in need of urgent emergency aid to avert famine of the 1984/85 proportions; 2.2 million Tigrayans internally displaced; close to 100,000 refugees in Sudan; almost 100 % of crops in the fields in Tigray burnt; more than 75 % domestic animals in Tigray killed; and more than 75 % of health facilities, schools in Tigray looted, destroyed, or burnt”.
“For months, the people of Tigray have been largely sealed off from the world, with electricity and telecommunication access severed and mobile phones often seized, leaving little to back up their claims of thousands, even tens of thousands, killed. That has begun to change. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken asserted last month that “ethnic cleansing” has taken place in western Tigray, marking the first time a top official in the international community has openly described the situation as such. The term refers to forcing a population from a region through expulsions and other violence, often including killings and rapes. The spokesman for United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday called the accounts in the AP story “harrowing” and said, “We are very concerned.”.
(Cara Anna, AP, Miami Herald; 7 April 2021)
“The effects of this war will continue long after the guns have fallen silent. There will be empty spaces where civilian populations were murdered, and there will be a cohort of children growing up who are the result of the rape of their mothers. This further illustrates why it is absolutely the wrong time for the UK Government to be reneging on their promise to maintain UK aid spending at 0.7% of gross national income. I hope the Minister will reflect further on that disastrous decision. Even now, the UK Government can help avert yet more destruction in Tigray and provide justice for the survivors of the massacres and for the women who have been raped. It will, however, take much more than words; it will take action, and that is what I, and many others, hope the Minister will commit to tonight.”
(Helen Hayes MP, UK Parliament Debate on Conflict in Tigray, 25 March 2021)