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Catholic Priest in Troubled Tigray Region Says Ethiopia’s Situation Worsening Day by Day

A little girl of Ethiopia's Desanetch tribe poses at the entrance of a makeshift house/ Credit: Aid to the Church in Need

The humanitarian situation in Ethiopia’s Tigray region that has been in war since last November is deteriorating each passing day, a Catholic Priest ministering in the country’s Northernmost region has said.

The Priest who preferred to remain anonymous for security reasons told Pontifical Charity organization, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) United States, that people in the region that is covered by Ethiopia’s Eparchy of Adigrat are in immense suffering and many are now traumatized.

Describing the extent of the ongoing conflict between the government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the Priest said that there is “still devastating war going on in almost the whole of the Tigray region.”

He added, “I don’t have the words to describe their suffering – there is great despair and the people are traumatized.”

On November 4, fighting broke out in Tigray after Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed sent federal troops, supported by militia and army from Amhara, and troops from Eritrea, to fight the TPLF, which he accused of holding illegitimate elections.

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The leadership of the Pontifical charity organization reports that hundreds lie dead in Ethiopia’s war-torn Tigray region where Priests are beaten up and churches ransacked. Additionally, there is “rampant” hunger and fear is gripping the inhabitants who have no medicine left.

“There are no official public services, not enough food, no medication, no security and trust,” the Priest who spoke to the charity organization said, and added, “The situation is worsening by the moment.”

Describing how children and orphans have suffered, the Cleric said, “The people are at the end of their strength. Mothers come to ask for help because they have lost their children and don’t know where they are.”

Attacks in the country located in the horn of Africa country are indiscriminate and have affected Catholic Priests and Nuns who are beaten, wounded and sometimes killed, the ACN report of Tuesday, April 27 indicates. Additionally, Church property has been looted by soldiers who have taken control of the region.

The Church has, however, not wavered in caring for the most affected, “tending her sheep with due care for her people,” the Catholic Priest testifies.

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In his appeal for help to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Tigray, the Priest implores, “Please continue to pray for us and support us. We need your help, both material and spiritual… Many thanks for your solidarity and sincere concern during these dramatic times.”