(By Mekete Tigray UK and TYN, Video by Digital Weyne, 25 April 2021) –
Tigrayans in the UK and friends of Tigray demonstrated in London against the genocide currently taking place in Tigray that is perpetrated by the Ethiopian Army, Eritrean Troops and Amhara Militia.
Eritrean opposition parties joined the protest to show their solidarity and oppose the war on Tigray.
The demonstrators came from across UK to highlight the plight of Tigray people. The demonstrators flew the flags of Tigray, UK and Eritrea. The flag of the UK was flown to show appreciation for the support given by UK Parliamentarians against the war on Tigray. Demonstrators also carried plackards and banners with slogans: stop war on Tigray, Tigrayan lives matter, Tigray needs masks not bombs, stop Tigray genocide, stop raping our women, stop weaponising rape and hunger, Amhara Militia out of Tigray, Eritrean Troops out of Tigray, we want justice, we want democracy and we want peace.
Tigrayan Orthodox Church priests took part in the demonstration and sang hymns. Demonstrators also red poems that reflected the history of Tigrayans and their language, Geez.
Martin Plaut, the former BBC journalist, joined the demonstration, and he condemned “the appalling atrocities including rapes commited against the people of Tigray”. He also said that “it is nice to see the unity of Tigrayans and Eritreans to oppose the war on Tigray. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has no legitimacy, and he is finished.”
On November 4, 2020, 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 2020, Tigray has faced continued attacks ranging from aerial bombardments, widespread rapes and sexual violence and extrajudicial killings   .
The war is being fought in the dark, under the blanket of a communications blackout, 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 weaponising starvation and rape. 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  .
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.”
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.”
The demonstration was organised by Tigray Youth Network. The Tigray Youth Network (TYN), a group of young Tigrayans from across the UK came together to raise awareness of the genocide, rapes, gross human rights violations and ethnic cleansing in Tigray and put a stop to the atrocities being committed against the people of Tigray.
The event was transmitted live on Eritrean Assenna TV and Digital Weyane YouTube.
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.