With the bombing stopped, the wounded must be treated and the Tigray must be given food and water.

With the bombing stopped, the wounded must be treated and the Tigray must be given food and water.

Press Release “Amici di Adwa” of 4 December

From 4 November last, when Ethiopian Prime Minister Abyi Ahmed began military action in Tigray against the forces of the local party in power, the TPLF, to date the conflict in Ethiopia continues not to appear on the news or on the agenda Italian foreign policy.

The presence of numerous Italians and foreigners in a region totally isolated from the point of view of telecommunications and news coverage, freedom of movement, access to humanitarian aid or the banking system, is becoming more worrying every day.

The “Amici di Adwa”Association, which has supported projects for aid to children, education, health care and food in the Kidane Mehret Salesian mission since 1998, wants to draw attention to the ongoing humanitarian crisis.

Sister Laura Girotto, the founder of the Adwa mission, follows the little news leaking from Italy with great attention and is in constant contact with the embassy.

From this part of the world every appeal for peace had seemed to fall on deaf ears: even the exhortations of the UN, the Pope, the European Union, the United States, the African Union, which in Addis Ababa has the its headquarters. The Ethiopian premier’s response was “We respectfully urge the international community to refrain from any unwelcome and illegal act of interference and to respect the fundamental principles of non-intervention contained in international law”. Based on this, it has so far prevented any external intervention in the region, where in addition to the population exhausted by the crisis and the war, there are 100,000 Eritrean refugees.

Representatives of the International Red Cross had access to the Mekelle hospital for the first time on 29 November and found serious shortages of any basic medical device and medicine, making it difficult to help the many injured patients.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, visiting more than 40,000 Ethiopian refugees in Sudan, has brought basic aid but awaits the opening of neutral humanitarian corridors to reach the camps managed in Tigray.The agreement between the UN agencies and the federal government was only reached on 3 December and has not yet been finalized.

It was learned from President Abyi Ahmed’s statements that the military operation ended on Saturday 28 November with the capture of the Tigray capital, Mekelle. But the leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Tigray does not recognize the defeat and declares that he will continue to fight. (AP)

There are also reports of recent TPLF missile launches towards Eritrea, demonstrating that the crisis is still ongoing.On eastern Tigrinya territory, the main threat to the safety of the civilian population and of the aid workers and missionaries were the Eritrean militias.This unofficial presence, outside the direct control of the Ethiopian government forces, seems to have appropriated basic necessities by requisitioning them from the population and the structures of the territory. All the work carried out by numerous international actors to offer training, work, health assistance to a population cyclically marked by wars and famines risks being compromised.

For this Sister Laura and the Association invoke help and intervention:

“We protect the five Salesian missionaries, the two from Cottolengo, the five Italian collaborators and the numerous Cuban and Kenyan health workers who have courageously remained alongside the Ethiopian population at this time! We have asked through international diplomacy that the Ethiopian government guarantees the protection of all international operators present in Tigray, open humanitarian corridors, eliminate the telecommunications blockade, allow us to bring aid in kind and in cash to the population without the risk of being attacked. by out-of-control militias ”!

To date, it seems that the situation is rapidly evolving and that collaboration for aid to civilians has begun. We sincerely hope that the new Mission hospital will be of use to those who have been injured or do not have access to basic health care.


Reference press review:

Rai News su esplosioni ad Asmara

La Repubblica del 28/11 sulle dichiarazioni del Primo Ministro, rappresentanti del TPLF e Alto Commissario UNHCR

Il Giornale del 29/11 sugli italiani in Tigray e sulla Missione di Adwa

articolo del 4/12 sull’allarme per i rifugiati

articolo del 29/11 su fine azione militare e rischio guerriglia

Associated Press su dichiarazioni capo TPLF

BBC su situazione riscontrata dalla Croce Rossa Internazionale all’ospedale di Mekelle

Comunicato (inglese) ONU- UNHCR sull’accordo raggiunto per aprire corridoi umanitari