Connect with us

Foreign

Infos: Ethiopia: despite peace agreement, fear, looting and shortages remain the norm in Tigray

Lead negotiator for Ethiopia’s government, Redwan Hussein, left, shakes hands …   –   Copyright © africanews Themba Hadebe/Copyright 2022 The AP. All rights reserved. By Rédaction Africanews with AFP Last updated: 4 hours ago Ethiopia Despite a peace agreement signed in early November, Tigray is living in disarray and fear, with daily shortages, but also violence

Published

on

Infos: Ethiopia: despite peace agreement, fear, looting and shortages remain the norm in Tigray
Lead negotiator for Ethiopia’s government, Redwan Hussein, left, shakes hands …   –  

Copyright © africanews

Themba Hadebe/Copyright 2022 The AP. All rights reserved.

Ethiopia

Despite a peace agreement signed in early November, Tigray is living in disarray and fear, with daily shortages, but also violence, expulsions and looting committed by allies of the Ethiopian army, according to residents and humanitarian workers.

Since the agreement signed in Pretoria between the rebel authorities of Tigray, from the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), and the federal government of Ethiopia, the fighting has stopped. Food and medical aid are gradually arriving and the regional capital Mekele has been connected to the national power grid.

However, residents and aid workers from various parts of Tigray told AFP – mostly on the condition of anonymity for security reasons – that looting and persecution of civilians continue in the region.

They blame the army of Eritrea, which borders Tigray's northern border, and fighters from the Amhara region, which borders its southern border, both of which have been supporting the Ethiopian army in the conflict but whose leaders did not attend the Pretoria talks.

Access and communications in Tigray are restricted, making it impossible to independently verify the situation on the ground.

According to two aid workers who travelled through the region between late November and early December, these troops are present for hundreds of kilometres, from western Tigray to central Tigray, from the town of Humera to Adwa.

They arrived in October in Shire, in the northwestern part of the region, where a climate of terror has prevailed since then, according to one resident.

“For the past two months, Shire has been almost a dead town,” he said in mid-December, referring to “continuous looting and abductions. “Women are afraid to leave their homes for fear of sexual violence,” he added.

He also described “a very precarious existence”, with people queuing for water, donkeys replacing cars in the streets, and no money…

– Looting, kidnapping, rape –

In mid-November, an aid worker based in Shire told AFP: “The Amhara forces are looting houses and government offices, as well as abducting mainly young men and women (…) Eritrean soldiers also continue to loot and kidnap young people.

“The Ethiopian army and the other security forces (including the police) are watching and not intervening,” he said.

On December 1, he also reported “eleven cases of rape” recorded by his organization.

The rebel authorities, who “disengaged” two-thirds of their fighters after the agreement, regularly accuse the Eritrean army of abuses and “massacres” of civilians.

The head of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, of Tigrayan origin, announced on December 15 that his uncle had been “murdered by the Eritrean army”, along with fifty other villagers.

A resident of Adwa told AFP on December 22 that she knew of “a family of seven who was murdered by the Eritreans in Mariam-Shewito,” a village about ten kilometres from the city.

Eritreans and Amhara nationalists have a historical animosity towards Tigray.

Eritrea has been a sworn enemy of the TPLF since a bloody border war in 1998-2000 when the party was in power in Ethiopia (1991-2018).

Some Amhara believes they were robbed of fertile land attached to Tigray when the TPLF came to power in 1991. When the conflict began in November 2020, regional forces and Amhara militias took over this area of western Tigray.

– “We're scared” –

In southwestern Tigray, a resident of the town of Mai Tsebri said in early December that “the new rulers (who have arrived since October) in the Amhara region have banned the use of Tigrigna (the Tigrayan language), are deporting and expelling ethnic Tigrayans and looting their properties.

“We are worried, we are afraid for our safety and our future,” he confided.

“The new rulers have started issuing identity cards to people they consider to be ethnic Amhara, as well as to settlers who arrived with the new authorities,” he added.

An aid worker who visited the region also reported the arrival of large numbers of Amhara, particularly in Humera, along with expulsions of Tigrayans to the other side of the Tekeze River, which forms the boundary of Western Tigray. He also mentioned detention camps.

As early as March 2021, the United States had denounced acts of “ethnic cleansing” in Western Tigray, accusations that were renewed by NGOs that

AU Mediator Uhuru Kenyatta to Travel to Tigray

01:31

    AU Mediator Uhuru Kenyatta to Travel to Tigray

    Ethiopia, Tigray rebel officials meet to discuss implementation of peace deal

    00:53

      Ethiopia, Tigray rebel officials meet to discuss implementation of peace deal

      Ethiopia’s largest bank resumes financial operations in Tigray

        Ethiopia’s largest bank resumes financial operations in Tigray

        Ethiopia: The Dire Dawa Circus training delinquent young people

        01:11

          Ethiopia: The Dire Dawa Circus training delinquent young people

          More supplies reach Tigray as aid workers decry access controls

          02:03

            More supplies reach Tigray as aid workers decry access controls

            View more

            Continue Reading
            Click to comment

            Leave a Reply

            Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

            Foreign

            Infos: Pope Francis in DRC on a “mission of peace”

            Pope Francis greets well-wishers after arriving in Kinshasa, Congo, Tuesday Jan. 31, 2023   –   Copyright © africanews Jerome Delay/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved By Rédaction Africanews and Serge Koffi Last updated: 8 hours ago Pope Francis The plane carrying the Holy Father arrived at Kinshasa International Airport in the middle of Tuesday afternoon.

            Published

            on

            Infos: Pope Francis in DRC on a “mission of peace”
            Pope Francis greets well-wishers after arriving in Kinshasa, Congo, Tuesday Jan. 31, 2023   –  

            Copyright © africanews

            Jerome Delay/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved

            Pope Francis

            The plane carrying the Holy Father arrived at Kinshasa International Airport in the middle of Tuesday afternoon.

            A dozen dignitaries including Congolese Prime Minister Sama Lukonde, alongside civil and religious authorities met him at the foot of the plane.

            Pope Francis was then escorted in his Popemobile to the Palace of the Nation where he met the Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi.

            The pontiff expressed his regret that the country, and more widely the African continent, still suffers from various forms of exploitation.

            “This country and this continent deserve to be respected and listened to, they deserve to find space and receive attention. Hands off the Democratic Republic of the Congo! Hands off Africa! Stop choking Africa: Africa is not a mine to be stripped or a terrain to be plundered. May Africa be the protagonist of its own destiny!”, said Pope Francis

            Alongside the Pope, the Congolese president spoke of the challenges facing the  Continent, notably security and the preservation of the environment.

            “The removal of security threats in our country will certainly contribute to the effectiveness of the fight against climate change and the protection of the environment. Your pastoral visit will surely contribute to strengthen this determination and our people are ready to welcome your message of peace, hope, comfort, strengthening and brotherhood”, said Felix Antoine Tshisekedi, President of the DRC

            Africanews reporter Serge Koffi added:

            “According to the organisers, Pope Francis will not be visiting the east of the country where the security crisis has lasted for more than two decades.

            It is therefore here in Kinshasa, far from the shooting and fighting that the pontiff will launch his message of peace and reconciliation with the aim of easing tensions in this part of the DRC“.

            South Sudan prepares to welcome Pope Francis

            01:41

              South Sudan prepares to welcome Pope Francis

              Pope Francis lands in DR Congo, welcomed with joy

              01:23

                Pope Francis lands in DR Congo, welcomed with joy

                Activists urge Pope to sanction DR Congo priest accused of sex abuse

                  Activists urge Pope to sanction DR Congo priest accused of sex abuse

                  South Africa’s national state of disaster: what does it mean?

                    South Africa’s national state of disaster: what does it mean?

                    DRC's capital, Kinshasa, ready to welcome Pope Francis

                    00:54

                      DRC's capital, Kinshasa, ready to welcome Pope Francis

                       Zimbabwe: Belarus  Alexander Lukashenko arrives for 3-day visit

                      00:50

                        Zimbabwe: Belarus Alexander Lukashenko arrives for 3-day visit

                        Continue Reading

                        Foreign

                        Infos: South Sudan prepares to welcome Pope Francis

                        South Sudan prepares Papal visit   –   Copyright © africanews Africanews By Africanews Last updated: 8 hours ago South Sudan Pope Francis landed in the DRC's capital, Kinshasa, on Tuesday afternoon for the first Papal visit to the DRC since 1985. The visit to the Continent includes a trip on Friday to Juba, the capital of

                        Published

                        on

                        Infos: South Sudan prepares to welcome Pope Francis
                        South Sudan prepares Papal visit   –  

                        Copyright © africanews

                        Africanews

                        South Sudan

                        Pope Francis landed in the DRC's capital, Kinshasa, on Tuesday afternoon for the first Papal visit to the DRC since 1985.

                        The visit to the Continent includes a trip on Friday to Juba, the capital of South Sudan and one of the poorest countries in the world.

                        “We hope this visit is a great opportunity for the people of South Sudan to reconcile, to reunite, and to rebuild their future as one people united”, said Andreas Mabior, Head of the choir.

                        Sister Sarah Gune Justin, a Catholic nun, added “(South Sudan, Ed.) We became helpless because of war, but with faith and trust in God we know that with the coming of the Holy Father to our country, we will experience the peace of Christ, and South Sudan is going to change, it’s not going to remain as before”.

                        The six-day trip to the DRC and South Sudan had been planned for July 2022, but postponed due to the pontiff's knee pain that has forced him to use a wheelchair in recent months.

                        “Hopefully his coming as already indicated in his motto of coming, this is his wish for the people of South Sudan, “to be united, to be one”. This is without any hesitation that is moving people of South Sudan to be one”, concluded Matthew Remijio, Catholic Bishop of South Sudan's Wau Diocese.

                        After gaining independence in 2011, South Sudan suffered a brutal five-year civil war, while continued conflict between rival ethnic groups exacts a terrible toll on civilians.

                        The Pope will be joined in Juba by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, and the leader of the Church of Scotland, on what he has called “an ecumenical pilgrimage of peace“.

                        Pope Francis lands in DR Congo, welcomed with joy

                        01:23

                          Pope Francis lands in DR Congo, welcomed with joy

                          Activists urge Pope to sanction DR Congo priest accused of sex abuse

                            Activists urge Pope to sanction DR Congo priest accused of sex abuse

                            South Sudan set for Pope Francis visit

                            01:00

                              South Sudan set for Pope Francis visit

                              Three aid workers killed in attacks South Sudan - UN

                                Three aid workers killed in attacks South Sudan – UN

                                Journalists detained after South Sudan's president filmed apparently urinating

                                  Journalists detained after South Sudan's president filmed apparently urinating

                                  View more

                                  Continue Reading

                                  Foreign

                                  Infos: Sacred Ivorian drum held in France about to be returned home

                                  The Djidji Ayokwe drum is emblematic of Ivorian culture and identity   –   Copyright © africanews africanews By Africanews Last updated: 3 hours ago France An Ivorian drum seized by France during colonization is about to be returned to the Ivory Coast. The sacred Djidji Ayokwe drum was used to communicate warning messages up to thirty

                                  Published

                                  on

                                  Infos: Sacred Ivorian drum held in France about to be returned home
                                  The Djidji Ayokwe drum is emblematic of Ivorian culture and identity   –  

                                  Copyright © africanews

                                  africanews

                                  France

                                  An Ivorian drum seized by France during colonization is about to be returned to the Ivory Coast.

                                  The sacred Djidji Ayokwe drum was used to communicate warning messages up to thirty kilometres around villages.

                                  In 1916 the drum was confiscated by the French colonial administration and transferred to France in 1930.

                                  The “talking drum”, as it was nicknamed,has been restored in a workshop near Paris under the supervision of the Quay Branly Museum.

                                  “You can see that it has been quite badly affected by wood-eating insects which have dug galleries, certainly repeatedly, and that this has structurally weakened the drum”, said Nathalie Richard, head of the conservation-restoration department at the Quai Branly Museum.

                                  “We consolidated the material, the wood itself, by impregnating it with a resin carried by a solvent. So the resin makes it possible to regain a slightly solid structure and to avoid small breakages on the edges, on the edges of the galleries, on the edges of the gaps, and so that vibrations and handling do not damage the drum any more”, concluded the head of conservation. 

                                  The drum is three metres long and weighs 430 kg. This wooden instrument is seen as carrying mystical properties and was used to warn of dangers, mobilise for war or summon villages to ceremonies or festivals.

                                  It is the first of a list of 148 works that Ivory Coast officially requested the restitution to France in late 2018.

                                  “The drum made it possible to transmit messages over long distances – up to 30 kilometres in all directions – to villages neighbouring the village of Adjamé where it was located and which were therefore interpreted by those who heard them through sound, since the Ebrié language is a tonal language”, said Hélène Joubert, head of the heritage unit of the Africa collections at the Quai Branly Museum.

                                  This traditional object, long claimed by Abidjan, is a central piece of the musical art of the Ebriés, an ethnic group in Ivory Coast.

                                  “This loss was extremely important psychologically, felt as a loss of identity and freedom. And to recover the drum is to recover one's identity and freedom”,  concluded the head of African collections. 

                                  The arrival of the Djidji Ayokwe at the Museum of Civilisation in Abidjan can only be confirmed once the French Parliament has voted on a law allowing its official return, similar to the restitution of historical pieces to Benin approved by the French parliament in December 2020.

                                  SA's Trevor Noah returns as Grammy host with comfort and nervousness

                                    SA's Trevor Noah returns as Grammy host with comfort and nervousness

                                    SADC meeting warns of escalating tensions in Eswatini

                                    01:07

                                      SADC meeting warns of escalating tensions in Eswatini

                                      WAMU-Securities advocates broadening the investor base

                                      05:00

                                        WAMU-Securities advocates broadening the investor base

                                        France recalls envoy to Burkina Faso after expulsion of its forces

                                        01:25

                                          France recalls envoy to Burkina Faso after expulsion of its forces

                                          Josephine Baker and the Roaring Twenties celebrated by Dior

                                          02:01

                                            Josephine Baker and the Roaring Twenties celebrated by Dior

                                            Undocumented workers from Paris 2024 Olympic sites speak out

                                            02:30

                                              Undocumented workers from Paris 2024 Olympic sites speak out

                                              View more

                                              Continue Reading

                                              Trending

                                              0:00
                                              0:00