Mek’ele – The 16-year-old girl wanted to go to war. Six months after being forced to flee, Melon Mezgeb joins them with a gun, inspired by the sight of resurrected local troops marching to recapture the capital of the Tigray region of Ethiopia. I was waiting in the crowd for that.
“I came here because I saw a girl like me being raped by combatants,” she said. “At first I really wanted to go, but I was told I was too young. But I saw my friends coming, so I came here to fight with them.”
A scene of delight and determination in the city of Mek’ele in a video obtained by the Associated Press and smuggled from Tigray a few days later is a dramatic conflict that could destabilize one of Africa’s most populous and powerful ones. It’s a rare country to see changes.
After months of horror in a city populated by Ethiopian soldiers and troops from nearby Eritrea who tracked leaders in the Tigray region, a crowd of Mek’ele residents went to the local security office to sign up to fight. I rushed.
They were supported by the striking sight of a long parade of thousands of Ethiopian soldiers currently detained as prisoners of war and the leaders of Tigray walking openly through the city again. Residents lined up on the street mocked the prisoners and cheered on their leaders.
Tigray leaders have vowed to expel “enemy” from other parts of the Tigray region, rejecting the one-sided ceasefire announced by the Ethiopian government when soldiers withdrew from Mek’ele. The withdrawal of Ethiopian and Eritrean troops means fighting troops from the neighboring Amharic region, which occupied most of western and southern Tigray during the eight-month war.
If necessary, “combat is not simply confined to the Tigray border,” Tigray President Debrezion Gebremichael said in an interview. “We need a guarantee that they will never come back.”
The Tigray army currently controls a large area, which remains largely cut off from the world, with transport and communications links broken or cut off. The United Nations remains very concerned about the fate of millions of civilians due to food shortages in a famine situation after months of looting and destruction witnesses accused Ethiopia and the Allied forces. I am.
Only on Monday, a few days after Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed told the UN Secretary-General that Tigray would accept “immediate” assistance, the UN World Food Program announced that 50 badly needed supplies had flowed into Mek’ele. Did. Two weeks after the last arrival of such aid, WFP said, “Twice this number of trucks need to be moved daily to meet the region’s vast humanitarian needs.” I warned you.
The UN convoy was a welcome sight for the inhabitants. However, a few months of conflict means that the return to normal is still far away.
“I’m a driver,” said Hilff Abra, another resident who wants to join the Tigray army. “The Amharic army committed so many atrocities that they killed my uncle, so I came here to park the truck and register to participate in the struggle.”
The situation is difficult for prisoners of war, who say many of Tigray’s leaders will be released, as Ethiopia and the Allied forces destroyed almost every health center in Tigray over months.
In the prisoner camp, soldiers lay on the ground and some tried to care for their injuries with little care. “This is beyond our capabilities,” said Yusuf Ibrahim, medical coordinator for the Tigray Army. He sought more international help.
“They can only do for us when they first have something for them. It’s hard to say they didn’t help us. They’re us. He helped me as much as I could, “said one prisoner, Menor Alarso.
He showed his injured hand and said he had walked more than 100 km (60 miles) in that condition.
“When we came here, they couldn’t provide us with transportation,” he said. This is due to the lack of treatment here. “
Another prisoner, Sewareg Billeda, agreed. Except for the lack of food, “it doesn’t give us the additional medicines we need, like painkillers. Apart from that, they help us as much as we can. “
President Tigray said more than 6,000 Ethiopian soldiers and officers had been detained.
“We promise to keep them healthy as long as they are with us,” he said. “And after a while, yes, our plan is … wherever they want, they have to be free.”
But when evidence of prisoners committing atrocities in the war became apparent, he added, “We will hold them because they have to go to court.”
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Unusual footage of Ethiopian Tigray
Source link Unusual footage of Ethiopian Tigray