bishop adigrat tigray
Tigrayan refugees in Um Raquba camp in Sudan's eastern Gedaref State, on December 11, 2020 (Getty Images).
bishop adigrat tigray
Dal Mondo

An SOS Call from Adigrat Bishop: «Millions are starving in Tigray»

While all eyes are on Ukraine, a man-made famine in the Ethiopian region is putting the lives of children, women and men at risk. After the release of a shocking report on ethnic cleansing, we publish the desperate letter of Abune Tesfasellasie Medhin.

  • The bishop's letter
  • «We will erase you from this land»: the Amnesty International/Human Rights Watch report

After the publication, on April 6, of a joint Amnesty International/Human Rights Watch report denouncing the devastating ethnic cleansing carried out over the past 17 months by the Amhara ethnic group against civilians in Western Tigray, Panorama publishes an exclusive appeal by Abune Tesfasellasie Medhin. As reported by our source in the Northern region of Ethiopia, the prelate «has to hide because he publishes these truths. If they find him, they will kill him».

An SOS Call for a Swift Humanitarian Aid Action to Save Millions of People Dying from Merciless Man-made Famine in Tigray

Peace be to you in Christ.

First of all we would like to express our appreciation & thanks to those who have been working tirelessly (individuals, institutions, governments and partners) to bring glimpse of hope to the people of Tigray suffering from devastating genocidal war going on since 3/4 Nov. 2020 (519 days). However, the current pace to deliver the promises to the ground is not bringing any meaningful change for the lives of the people who have been under siege of total blockage for over 500 days from all basic services and rights (food, medicine, bank access, salary, all forms of communication, supply of goods to the market, free movement to/out of Tigray, and other social services) as compared to the magnitude and intensity of the humanitarian crises happening and will not be able to reach to save millions of people who are found at this decisive moment of life and death in mass.

This devastating crises exerting every sort of evil on the Tigrayan population at a scale beyond imagination, with the genocidal massacres of civilians, rampant rape and gender related violence, looting and burning of property, homes, destruction of worship houses (churches, mosques), economic installations, health institutions, schools, museums, etc..

1.7 million children across Tigray deprived of education in these two years!! (cf. UNOCHA report Nov. 15, 2021)

We are shocked and horrified by the acts of brutal crimes putting to death eleven people, of whom nine Tigrayans, burned alive in flames on 3rdMarch 2022 in the Ayisid Kebele of Metekel Zone, in the Benishangul-Gumuz Region.

With the total blockage here in Tigray, the scale of the humanitarian need is immensely critical that, the population – professionals and others, who have been contributing to the development of the country including doctors, university lecturers, engineers, teachers, etc., are deprived of accessing their own assets are leveled to beg for their survival and being driven in thousands to dying with preventable man-made hunger & diseases.

It is extremely hurting to remain in siege, denied of all outlets, experiencing these atrocities happening to us in Tigray for 18 months with a genocidal war, and amidst all this, it is equally shocking and saddening to hear accusations and criticism against the few consciencious God- fearing voices and cries of few prominent religious leaders in the country like His Holiness Patriarch Mattias and other personalities who are shedding their tears and constantly calling for peace, an end to this insane war, inhuman treatments, and for immediate unrestricted humanitarian aid access to all in need. The Catholic Church in Tigray strongly condemns these continued inhuman atrocities and once again we make our SOS call for :

  • an immediate unrestricted humanitarian aid and all the due social services to reach to the population in dire need in Tigray and elsewhere where it is needed,
  • the withdrawal of the occupying forces from Tigray and allow the return of the IDPs to their homes/villages,
  • a Peaceful dialogue for bringing to an end this genocidal war and the ongoing war crimes.

It is very deeply hurting and unacceptable to see mothers, children and adults who are dying every single minute for being deprived of their God-given rights to life and to the basic services, and for the failure of entry of the long awaited and negotiated life saving promises of unrestricted humanitarian aid supply to meaningfully reach the population in here in Tigray. This is a dire call once again for a swift action by all concerned and competent international communities to save the lives of the millions of people at the verge of death with merciless man-made famine in Tigray at this vital moment; otherwise the world has to be prepared to see piles of human carcass across Tigray Region who will have passed from preventable man-made famine, and which will eventually scorch our heads and hearts for our collective failure and shame as civilized international institutions/organizations having lost tools and means to deploy to alleviate human suffering of this level to serve & save humanity at critical humanitarian crises.

Therefore in this critical moment we desperately call upon the international community to take a quick action to save millions of people in Tigray from perishing, before it reaches irreversible level, due to our collective unfulfilled humanitarian duty and moral obligation. We remain grateful for your efforts, prayerfully hoping for the success of your endeavors for concrete actions.

May the Graces of the Passion and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ strengthen our suffering population in Tigray and elsewhere in the country and the world, to regain the Light of respectable Life and Peace.

Wishing you all a Blessed Easter!

Abune Tesfasellasie Medhin

«We will erase you from this land»: the Amnesty International/Human Rights Watch report

In a report released on April 6, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch accused regional security forces in the Amhara region and civilian authorities in the Western Zone of Tigray (also Amhara) of committing since November 2020 «violence of such prevalence and intensity against the Tigrayan population as to constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity».

The two organizations complained that Ethiopian authorities have severely restricted access and independent monitoring in the area, managing to keep the ethnic cleansing campaign largely hidden. The investigation targeted freshly appointed Amhara authorities in the Western Zone of Tigray and security forces in the neighboring Amhara region, with the acquiescence and possible participation of Ethiopia's federal forces.

And he accused them of «systematically expelling several hundred thousand Tigrayan civilians from their homes by resorting to threats, unlawful killings, sexual violence, mass arbitrary arrests, looting, forced relocation and denial of humanitarian assistance. These massive and systematic attacks against the civilian population of Tigray constitute crimes against humanity and war crimes».

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