The people of Tigray, Ethiopia, can no longer sit by as the international community fails to act to prevent a humanitarian crisis unravelling in the horn of Africa. This Sunday, 25th April, at 1pm, members of the Tigray diaspora will protest war in the region, alongside concerned community groups and organisations. The Metropolitan Police are aware, and organisers are ensuring the peaceful march will take place in a COVID-safe manner.
In November last year, the Ethiopian Government declared war on Tigray, a region with an estimated population of 7 million people. The ongoing violence is being orchestrated by the Ethiopian National Defence Force, Eritrean National Defence Force, Amhara militia and UAE drones. Since November, the region has faced continued attacks ranging from aerial bombardments, widespread sexual violence and extrajudicial killings   .
The war is being fought in the dark, under the blanket of a communications black out, independent journalists have been imprisoned, and internal journalists intimidated. There is no or limited access
Judd Devermont, Africa Director at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies think tank in Washington DC, said:
“It is time to move beyond warnings and statements of concern to investigations and legal proceedings to hold perpetrators accountable for mass atrocities.”
#Ethiopia: Worries rise for #Tigray residents' longer-term safety https://t.co/r0O7rudZZJ A recent #CARE assessment found that the food situation in a number of areas of eastern Tigray is truly alarming, with little or no agricultural inputs available for people to recover … pic.twitter.com/fNVcEiyvfQ
— Addis Standard (@addisstandard) April 20, 2021
This is really shocking. Without food, starvation faces many families https://t.co/SV8YE7hgrx
— Martin Plaut (@martinplaut) April 20, 2021
At present humanitarian assistance has been intentionally restricted and looting, invading forces are weaponizing starvation. More than 4.5+ million Tigrayans urgently need food assistance and a further 2.2 million are internally displaced . 70,000 civilians have been killed and 62, 500 Tigrayans have sought refuge in neighbouring Sudan. In fact, Tigrayans aross Ethiopia face mass imprisonment, the termination of job contracts and the denial of entry onto flights.
The Tigray Youth Network (TYN), a group of young Tigrayans from across the UK have come together to create an incredibly powerful awareness-raising campaign. They are doing everything they can to put a stop to the atrocities being committed against their loved ones and amplify the voices of all those being silenced.
Melat Tesfaye, Tigrayan Youth Campaigner says:
“For us who have families in Tigray, seeing horrific videos of the sexual violence against women, it is completely distressing. The international community needs to wake up. We cannot wait until it’s too late.”
This Sunday, 25th, Londoners will be able to stand in solidarity with Melat and the TYN who will be making powerful speeches broadcasted across their social media channels. Together, alongside Ethiopian and Eritrean diaspora groups, members of the academic community as well as social justice organisations, such as the London Young Greens, they are calling for a ceasefire, the verified removal of invading forces and an inclusive national dialogue.
Hope Carpenter, co-chair for the London Young Greens said:
“I cannot imagine the pain Tigrayans across the world must be suffering. The London Young Greens have had the opportunity to work alongside the TYN, an incredible group of young people, to use our collective voices to convince the UK government to act. We will be hosting an online solidarity event for anyone who can’t attend, with Green Party peer, Natalie Bennett, to make sure Westminster hears us.”
For more information further comment or to arrange interviews contact: firstname.lastname@example.org,
For more information, here is a collection on sources and real testimonies gathered by the TYN https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/u/0/d/1_2EBkVzi0SF-F_x9Az_kPucS5VfD-Td4AYxzmfUtS6A/htmlview?urp=gmail_link&gxids=7628#gid=345053221.