AFRICA/ETHIOPIA - The Eparque of Adigrat: 15 parishes occupied by the armed forces

Thursday, 13 April 2023

Adigrat (Agenzia Fides) - Again this year, in Tigray, the people are experiencing Easter in very critical conditions. Despite the signing of the peace agreement concluded in South Africa between the government of Addis Ababa and the separatist organizations of the region in November 2022 (see Fides, 3/11/2022), the country is still in very precarious conditions.
"Following the calendar of the Ethiopian Coptic Orthodox Church, we will celebrate Easter on Sunday, April 16 - reports to Fides Tesfaselassie Medhin, bishop of the Catholic eparchy of Adigrat.
Unfortunately, the situation is still very critical because 15 parishes in the region are inaccessible due to the occupation by the armed forces".
The Eparch asks to continue to pray for the entire Ethiopian population and in particular for Tigray where the arrival of new internally displaced persons (IDPs) continues. According to the local press, 47,000 new displaced people have been registered in the Endabaguna refugee camp, near the town of Shire, in northwestern Tigray.
"In the past month, among the displaced people, women, girls and children have left the areas - called woreda - of Maigaba, Tselemti, Korarit, Welkayit and Qafta, under the occupation of Amhara forces", said the interim administrator of Endabaguna, Getu Dejen. Humanitarian aid, food and medicines are not reaching Endabaguna. People live on alms. They fled because of violence committed by armed groups against women and girls, and crimes committed against the Tigrinya.
Getu says that at the beginning of March the camp had around 8,000 displaced people and that figure has risen to 47,000 in recent weeks. Although they have reported their situation to several NGOs and humanitarian agencies, no meaningful response has yet been made. Displaced people lack adequate shelter and live in life-threatening conditions, with children and women begging for food in the streets. The administrator of the northwestern Tigray region, Surafel Araya, also confirmed the situation, calling on the agencies concerned to give all necessary attention to the newly displaced.
The issue of displaced persons remains a challenge for the new interim administration of Tigray where, despite reports of an improvement in the humanitarian flow in the region after the peace agreement, adequate aid is lacking. As of January 2023, more than 54,000 displaced people housed in Abiy-Adi camp in central Tigray suffered from severe shortages of food and medicine. (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 13/4/2023)