The Archbishop of Ethiopia’s Addis Ababa Archdiocese has said that the humanitarian situation in the embattled Tigray region is getting worse and that the violent conflict has resulted in the protracted suffering of the population.

Newsroom (20/04/2022 7:04 PM, Gaudium Press) “The humanitarian situation in Tigray continues to worsen. The passage through the humanitarian corridors used by the United Nations, the government or other agencies trying to bring food into the country is sometimes blocked. We do not know for sure by whom,” Berhaneyesus Demerew Cardinal Souraphiel warned on April 20, Agenzia Fides reports.

According to Fides, the Ethiopian government has refused aid entry into Tigray until the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) vacates the region.

On the other hand, TPLF wants aid to flow freely before withdrawing completely, along with the withdrawal of Amhara forces from western Tigray.

The Conference of Catholic Bishops of Ethiopia (CBCE) has launched appeals through their Catholic Network worldwide, focusing on Caritas International for Humanitarian aid, informed Cardinal Souraphiel.

“Only a fortnight ago we asked for money to help our people, not only in Tigray but also in neighbouring areas,” Cardinal Souraphiel further added, stressing that the drought in the country, worsened by climate change, has exacerbated the humanitarian crisis.  

Many people are in dire need of help.

The Ethiopian Cardinal says that the Horn of Africa nation should not be just perceived as a homeland of war or conflict but as a country that has been united for centuries.

“We have many challenges here in Ethiopia, but I believe and trust in the prayers of people who have been united for centuries, who have married and lived as Ethiopians. Our hope is that soon our peoples will soon become one again,” Cardinal Souraphiel says in the April 20 report by Agenzia Fides.

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In a report published by ACI Africa on April 8, Bishop Tesfaselassie Medhin of the Catholic Eparchy of Adigrat said that the besieged people from the country’s Tigray region are not fully benefiting from the humanitarian aid. A military truce promoted by the country’s Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed Ali, does not help either. 

“The aid that manages to arrive, following the military truce promoted by Prime Minister Abiy, is not changing the lives of the besieged people, and all the services of basic necessities are lacking,” Bishop Medhin warned.

The Ethiopian Catholic Bishop appealed to the international community and the United Nations to rapidly intervene in the Tigrayans’ situation through humanitarian aid to help millions of people affected by the devastating, “genocidal” war underway in the region since November 4, 2020.

According to Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Amnesty International (AI), the new leadership in the region and the Amhara regional security forces had committed numerous grave abuses.

The international human rights entities listed Tigray abuses as murder, torture, forcible transfer, rape, sexual slavery and other forms of sexual violence, persecution, and enforced disappearances.

There is also widespread pillage, imprisonment, possible extermination “and other inhumane acts as part of a widespread and systematic attack against the Tigrayan civilian population,” HRW and AI concluded.

(Via ACI Africa)

Compiled by Raju Hasmukh