AFRICA/ETHIOPIA - Conflict in Tigray: fate of the bishop and his collaborators in the Eparchy of Adigrat

Monday, 14 December 2020

Addis Ababa (Agenzia Fides) - Since the beginning of the fighting in the Tigray region on November 4th, there has been no reliable information about the fate of the Catholic Bishop Tesfaselassie Medhin and his priests and religious from the Eparchy of Adigrat. Local sources report this to Agenzia Fides, who do not hide the growing concern due to the continuing silence on the fate of "Abune" Tesfaselassie. In the eparchy there are around one hundred religious who accompany the catholic diocese of the Eastern rite in the Eparchy, which includes the entire Tigray region. The only indirect communication that can be attributed to the Bishop is a letter sent to some collaborators, which dates back to 23 November. In the letter, Bishop Medhin referred to the difficult humanitarian situation in Tigray, where medicines, food, fuel and all essentials are lacking.
The conflict in the northern Tigray region of Ethiopia has so far caused more than 50,000 to flee to Sudan. According to the United Nations, these could double by the end of December. Almost 900,000 people, mostly children under the age of 11, are already in critical condition.
In connection with the conflict, lines of communication have been blocked, making it almost impossible to verify the accuracy of the information provided by both sides.
According to local sources, the Ethiopian army is currently in control of several cities near the border with Eritrea, including Dansha and Shire. Diplomats, regional security officials and humanitarian workers say fighting is spreading in the northwest of the country along the border with Sudan and Eritrea.
"The situation is spinning out of control with a frightening impact on civilians and there is an urgent need for external monitoring", said Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. (GF/AP) (Agenzia Fides, 14/12/2020)