What is happening?
On November 4th, 2020, Abiy Ahmed Ali declared a genocidal war on the Tigray region of Ethiopia. Since then 600,000+ civilians have been killed. The people of Tigray remain cut off from the rest of the world with no access to humanitarian aid, telecommunication, and their own bank accounts. The Ethiopian, Amhara, and Eritrean forces have been blocking aid from entering those affected by the ongoing atrocities. The Ethiopian government continues to bombard civilians and ethnically profile Tigrayans all over the country. Tigray needs your help.
Take action today by sending a letter to your elected officials.
Here are the key concerns
Genocide and ethnic cleansing have been waged on the people of Tigray including those living outside the region, as a result, 2.2 million civilians have been internally displaced, and75K+ have fled to Sudan refugee camps.
Numerous reports of looting and human rights abuses including sexual assault and attacks on refugee camps
UNICEF reported that approximately 2.3 million children have been cut off from humanitarian assistance.
6.5M million people in Tigray are facing man-made famine and need urgent life-saving assistance
Ethiopian and Eritrean soldiers have used rape as a weapon of war.
Tigray contains the core of the ancient Yeha and Aksumite kingdoms and the historic settlements of Yeha and Aksum, the kingdom’s capital; the city of Yeha and later on the city of Axum, a ruined town of great antiquity; and Adwa, the site of a battle in 1896 in which the Italian invading force was defeated by Alula Aba Nega.
Axum(Tigray) is also known for being the second to accept Christainity as a nation in the 4th Century AD and sheltering the Muslim immigrants in the first migration or Hijira in the 7th C AD ultimately saving the Islam as a whole. The Arc of Covenant is believed to be in St. Mary of Zion, in Axum, Tigray
Places of Attraction in Tigray
Tigray is home to 121 rock-hewn churches, believed to represent the single largest group of rock-hewn architecture in the world.
Yeha, The oldest standing structure in Sub-saharan Africa, the Temple of Yeha, is located in Yeha. This is a temple built in the Sabaean style, and dated through comparison with ancient structures in South Arabia to around 700 BC.
Tigray is filled with natural and man-Made wonders. The Obelisk of Axum is a 4th-century CE, 24-meter-tall (79-feet) phonolite stele/obelisk, weighing 160 tons, in the city of Axum in Tigray.
The Negash or Al-Nejashi Mosque dubbed as “The 2nd Mecca” is as old as the faith of Islam. Negash, Ethiopia's first Islamic settlement, was established in the 7th century AD by Muslim refugees who escaped persecution in Mecca, including close relatives of Prophet Mohammed, during his lifetime.
Debre-Damo Monastery was founded in the 6th century, on a mountain that is a steeply rising plateau of trapezoidal shape, about 1000 by 400 m in dimension. It sits at an elevation of 2216 m above sea level. The monastery, accessible only by rope up a sheer cliff, 15 m high, is known for its collection of manuscripts and for having the earliest existing church building in Ethiopia that is still in its original style, and only men can visit it.
Abuna Yemata Guh is a monolithic church located in the Hawzen woreda of the Tigray Region, Ethiopia. It is situated at a height of 2,580 meters (8,460 ft) and has to be climbed on foot to reach. It is notable for its dome and wall paintings dating back to the 5th century and its architecture. https://twitter.com/Tigraysfinest
The War on Tigray
The War on Tigray
On November 4, 2020, Abiy Ahmed declared war on the country’s northern region, Tigray. Since then, Tigray has been bombarded by federal, regional and foreign forces, and millions of ethnic minority Tigrayans remain in need of emergency relief, with tens of thousands displaced to neighboring Sudan.
This conflict comes after a period of political uncertainty, following a dangerous pattern of Abiy Ahmed’s violence towards peaceful political dissent and genocidal campaign on the people of Tigray.
Events Leading Up to the War on Tigray-Timeline
October 5, 2020
The federal transitional government’s constitutional mandate ended. The Ethiopian parliament allows PM Abiy Ahmed to stay in office beyond his term. The coronavirus pandemic was given as a reason as to why Ethiopia could not hold a national election.
October 27, 2020
Former Ethiopian Foreign Minister, Seyoum Mesfin, claims that Abiy Ahmed made “a one-day secret trip” to the Eritrean capital, Asmara, to meet and plan an attack on Tigray with President Isaias Afwerki. He adds that Eritrean military and security officials are already stationed in the recently established North-West Command located in the Amhara Region capital.
October 29, 2020
Newly appointed Deputy Head of Northern Command, Brigadier General Jamal Mohammed of the ENDF flies to Mekelle to assume his post. He is turned away by Tigray Region special forces and asked to return to Addis Ababa.
Newly appointed Commander of Northern Command, Brigadier General Belay, and Deputy Brigadier General Seid Tekuye were “politely informed” not to travel to the Tigray region to assume posts.
The Tigray Region Government reiterated its stance not to implement federal directives following
October 5 mandate expiration date. It is important to recall that Brigadier General Belay played a key role in the operation to forcefully apprehend the Somali Region president — it is understood that, in all likelihood, the Tigray Region Government acted (in part) to prevent him and his deputies from being embedded in the Northern Command as part of the currently unfolding operation.
November 1, 2020
- Eritrea issues a menacing statement declaring it was “game over” for the TPLF, claiming that TPLF is “quivering in its deathbed”.
- Ethiopian federal forces are abruptly withdrawn from Guliso District of West Wollega Zone in Ethiopia’s Oromia Region.
- Ethiopian federal forces are spotted being bussed out of the city of Shilaabo in Ethiopia’s Somali Region.
- 2,500 soldiers from neighboring Somalia are transported by bus overnight from training in Eritrea to Tigray.
- The ENDF is ordered to be on “standby”.
November 2, 2020
- A Statement, which reads “all parties, as well as Ethiopia’s neighbors, should abstain from provocative military deployments” is issued by Josep Borrell, European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
- Tigray Region President, Dr. Debretsion, tells reporters the federal government is going to attack Tigray.
- In a televised address, Dr. Debretsion states, “we have prepared our special forces not in need of a war, but if the worst comes, to defend ourselves”. He also decries Isaias Afwerki’s October 14 visit to the Ethiopian Air Force headquarters, noting: “the base is restricted even to our own citizens let alone to a leader whose soldiers are pointing their rifles right at us, while hiding in their fortress”.
November 4, 2020
- At 1:00 AM (GMT +3), after the start of fighting, the federal government disables all telecommunications, including internet and telephone services, in the Tigray Region. Communication will not be fully restored from this point forward.
- At 1:54 AM (GMT +3) Abiy Ahmed declares war on Tigray via a Facebook post alleging the TPLF had tried to “plunder” the Northern Command of weaponry.
- In the early days of the war, in a televised address Abiy warned city residents “not to congregate” as they will be dropping bombs in cities. This statement was made even though the Tigray Region Government had withdrawn from cities in order to minimize civilian casualties. This did not stop Abiy Ahmed and his troops from targeting civilian centers, resulting in the deaths of countless civilians.
While Abiy Ahmed finally admitted to Eritrean troop presence on March 24, 2021 (nearly five months after the war started and their presence was reported by the diplomatic community), he has not been forthcoming about the scale of their presence nor their role. There are currently tens of thousands of Eritrean troops in Southern Tigray. It was also recently reported that Abiy Ahmed has deployed Eritrean troops in Western Tigray and the disputed section of the Ethiopian-Sudan border, deep inside Ethiopia.
November 6, 2020
Stand With Tigray, Inc was founded by Tigrayan sisters Lwam Gidey and Rahwa Gidey who live in the US to help raise awareness about the conflict.