Fighting in Tigray (Tigray), a region in northern Ethiopia with about 6 million inhabitants, began on 4 November 20, involving Ethiopian forces and allied Eritrean troops against forces of the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).
The conflict has forced at least 2.2 million people to flee their homes, with over 61,000 fleeings to Sudan as refugees. At the same time, around 97,000 refugees from Eritrea are in Tigray under precarious conditions and in constant danger of their lives.
Rape is being used as a weapon of war! There are numerous reports of men forced to rape members of their own families, including children, and women forced to trade sex for food. There have also been sexual violence against women and girls in several refugee camps.
Large areas of agricultural land were abandoned. The peasants do not have seeds and oxen to plow as they have been plundered. The soldiers threaten: "You won't plow, you won't harvest, and if you try, we'll kill you." In remote villages, they raise their oxen at midnight and plow in the darkness before dawn. About 353,000 people are in a "disaster" situation and another 1.7 million in an "emergency".
Starvation is a cruel way to die, as the malnourished body consumes its organs to generate enough energy to sustain a flash of life. Those who succumb first are the children - typically 2/3 of those who starve. 300,000 children are likely to starve in the coming weeks.
Tigray is the reason Ethiopia is considered one of the oldest Christian countries in the world. The church plays a central role in the daily life of every family. Every community has a church. The region is full of structures, artifacts, festivals, stories, clothing, and much more. According to the 2007 census, approximately 96% of Tigray's population is Christian.