Cut Off From Everything — The Plight of Six Million People

Cutting all services

Prior to the operation, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed cut off all forms of communication and federal services to Tigray. The blockade remains in place for all of Tigray region except in Mekelle city, which started receiving limited services recently. Despite pleas from the UN, EU, and other world bodies, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has refused humanitarian agencies from getting access to most of the region. As a result, the full scope of this tragedy is yet to be known.

Photo by WION News

Rapes and abductions

There are reports of widespread abductions and rapes of women in several cities, some in front of their families. Women cannot go out to get water or food for fear of being taken away and gang raped. Even some occupying Ethiopian army commanders cannot contain their anger at the lawlessness. According to reports, the Eritrean army is believed to be the main perpetrator of these atrocities, some of which are so horrific to even put in words here. You can hear cries from Mekelle city residents over the internet. They are pleading to world bodies to do something about the tragedy unfolding.

Violence under Abiy

Since he came to power about three years ago, PM Abiy Ahmed has presided over some of the deadliest events in Ethiopian history. Incidents of ethnic-based attacks and displacements have skyrocketed during his tenure. Hardly a week goes by without reports of mass killings in one region or the other. Ethiopia is now closer to all-out anarchy and instability more than ever.

Isaias’s long reign of terror

The world already knows the history of Isaias Afwerki. He rules the tiny East African nation with an iron fist with no checks and balances, as so many world bodies have reported. Eritreans at home and abroad know no basic freedom. “It is just slavery,” said one Eritrean. They have endured forced and indefinite conscription for so long.

Regional implications

There are already signs that the turmoil could go well beyond the borders of the two countries.

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Helen Solomon

Helen Solomon

I write about Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa