UCA News
Contribute

Ethiopian bishop urges action to save millions in Tigray

Bishop Tesfasellassie Medhin restated his call for local and international communities to act to save people trapped in war
People, who fled the violence in Ethiopia's Tigray region, fetch water at May Weyni secondary school, which has been turned into an Internal Displaced People (IDP) camp registering 10,500 people, in Mekele, the capital of Tigray region, Ethiopia, on June 23, 2021

People, who fled the violence in Ethiopia's Tigray region, fetch water at May Weyni secondary school, which has been turned into an Internal Displaced People (IDP) camp registering 10,500 people, in Mekele, the capital of Tigray region, Ethiopia, on June 23, 2021. (Photo: AFP)

Published: October 06, 2022 06:40 AM GMT
Updated: October 06, 2022 06:46 AM GMT

On the date marking 700 days of war in Ethiopia's region of Tigray, Bishop Tesfasellassie Medhin of Adigrat restated his call to the local and international community to act to save millions of people.

People must "exercise their moral duty (to) be a voice of the voiceless and enforce international treaties to save more than 7 million live from vanishing," Bishop Medhin said in a statement Oct. 4.

Fighting began again Aug. 24, shattering a five-month humanitarian truce the government announced in May to allow aid to reach millions of needy people. During the period some food, medicines and other basic needs reached the region.

Bishop Medhin said the Catholic Church in Tigray was urging all the Catholic networks, partners, national and international religious leaders, U.N. agencies, the international community, among others, to condemn the war and move to help the suffering populations.

"It is very painful and shocking to see horrifying ... indiscriminate ... shelling and bombardment of civilians. As a result, all lifesaving humanitarian operations are totally halted across Tigray," he said.

"It extremely difficult to move across the rural areas to see what is happening, because there is no fuel," he said.

When the war started in November 2020, the government put the region under a blockade and cut off basic services, including telecommunication, banking, transport, water and medical care.

The blockade is still in place in the region as the Tigray People's Liberation Front battles a coalition of armies in a total media blackout. Some analysts have described the fighting as a "world war in Africa."

The bishop said apart from living through the siege and blockade, it was "heart bleeding" to see over 1.5 million children out of school for three years.

He described the Tigray fighting as the largest active war on the planet and urged the world to act to stop the indiscriminate bombardment and to push for unfettered humanitarian access and the restoration of basic services. He also wants a cease-fire and political dialogue for lasting peace.

"The Catholic Eparchy of Adigrat ... reconfirms its commitment to be in solidarity, prayer and charity with all the people who are going through the inexplicable suffering in Tigray and across the country," he said.

The war in Tigray started when Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali announced military action against the Tigray People's Liberation Front. He had accused the rulers of the semi-autonomous region of attacking a national army base in Mekele, the capital. The rebels denied the allegations.

Help UCA News to be independent
Dear reader,
Trafficking is one of the largest criminal industries in the world, only outdone by drugs and arms trafficking, and is the fastest-growing crime today.
Victims come from every continent and are trafficked within and to every continent. Asia is notorious as a hotbed of trafficking.
In this series, UCA News introduces our readers to this problem, its victims, and the efforts of those who shine the light of the Gospel on what the Vatican calls “these varied and brutal denials of human dignity.”
Help us with your donations to bring such stories of faith that make a difference in the Church and society.
A small contribution of US$5 will support us continue our mission…
William J. Grimm
Publisher
UCA News
Asian Bishops
Latest News
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia