Author: Martin Plaut
Reported war situation in Tigray (as confirmed per 15 February)
– Elfinesh Nigussie, Interim head of communication affairs of Tigray, admitted to @VOATigrigna the presence of Eritrean and Amhara forces in Tigray and how both forces hinder the distribution of aid by looting during the transportation of aid.
– Elfinesh also urged that Eritrean and Amhara forces should leave the Tigray region immediately.
– Further confirmations that the 6th century Monastery of Debre Damo was bombarded by artillery. One monk was killed and twelve buildings destroyed.
– Following the bombardment of Debre Damo, six Eritrean soldiers climbed up the 80ft rift onto the plateau and searched the sacred monastery and its buildings.
– Alessandro Bausi, an expert in Ethiopic texts and manuscripts at Hamburg University, says that multiple sources were informing him that key sites were being targeted and “irreplaceable” artefacts were destroyed or pillaged. There are 120 Rock Hewn churches in Tigray, going back to the 3rd century.
– Weyni Abraha, from the Human rights group Yikono, says that rape is part of a strategy to break the people of Tigray. It is a weapon of war: ”Many women were raped in Mekelle. This is being done purposely to break the morale of the people, threaten them and make them give up the fight.”