AFRICA/ETHIOPIA - At least 25 Salesian missionaries trapped in the war in the Tigray

Thursday, 10 December 2020 missionaries   wars  

Addis Ababa (Agenzia Fides) - Twenty-five Salesian missionaries are blocked without communications in the Tigray region - in the north of Ethiopia, at the center of the clash between regular soldiers and the militias of the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF). "The situation is very tense, anything can happen at any moment and we have no information because everything is cut off, both the internet and the telephone", says a Salesian from Addis Ababa to Agenzia Fides. The missionary adds that the Salesians have four communities in Tigray and that "the last connection with one of the communities was ten days ago - with the others it was not possible - and they told us that essential goods were starting to run out, such as electricity. , petrol and food".
One of the missionaries of whom there is no news is the Spanish Alfredo Roca, from Barcelona, who is 87 years old. "He has been here for many years, he arrived in the 1980s. He had already been against the communist government of Mengistu during the war and in the conflict against Eritrea, and unfortunately he has a lot of experience in these situations", says the missionary.
The 25 Salesians carry out evangelization and education activities in four communities in Adrigrat, Adwa, Mekelle and Shire - in the Tigray region - with schools, technical institutes and youth centers where they offer activities for the most deprived adolescents. They serve more than 5,000 children and young people and thousands of families. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 10/12/2020)