Ethiopians starved and raped in Amhara region by TPLF Terrorist Organization

October 18, 2021

The Tigrayan advance forced around 250,000 people to flee their homes in Amhara [source: Getty]
The Tigray People’s Liberation Front, a rebel group at war with the Ethiopian central government, stormed into the neighbouring Amhara region in July and has subjected its people to horrific conditions according to reports.

The pictures on her phone are all that Ethiopian mother Habtam Akele has left of her three-year-old daughter Saba.

The girl died of malnutrition last month before the family was able to flee south, deeper into Ethiopia’s Amhara region.

“They [doctors] told me she has been severely affected by malnutrition and they cannot help. Then they gave me some syrup and tablets. She passed away exactly a week later,” Habtam told Reuters earlier this month, clutching her surviving nine-month-old baby.

Habtam is among an influx of thousands of Amhara families fleeing to the town of Dessie from fighting further north.

Officials warn the already overcrowded makeshift camps, where displaced people sleep in rows in school classrooms, will fill further after renewed clashes.

Members of the Amhara special forces wash themselves and wash clothes at an improvised camp [source: Getty]

Conflict erupted between the ruling party of the rebellious northern region of Tigray – the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) – and the Ethiopian central government last November.

In July, the TPLF pushed into the neighbouring region of Amhara, whose forces had fought alongside the military against the Tigrayans, as well as into the region of Afar.

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The Tigrayan advance forced around 250,000 people to flee their homes in Amhara, the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in September.

On Monday, the TPLF said the Ethiopian military had launched an offensive to try to dislodge the Tigrayan fighters from Amhara, following a barrage of airstrikes reported last week.

The military and government have not answered calls seeking information on the offensive, but a post on the military’s official Facebook page said “they [the TPLF] have opened war on all fronts” and said the military was inflicting heavy casualties.

Diplomats are worried that renewed fighting will further destabilise Ethiopia, a nation of 109 million people, and deepen hunger in Tigray and the surrounding regions.

Habtam said there was little food in the areas under Tigrayan control and that Tigrayan forces took scarce medicines from local pharmacies.

Getachew Reda, the spokesman for the TPLF, told Reuters that Tigrayan forces had not looted pharmacies that supplied local populations and had set up a generator to alleviate water shortages in Habtam’s area.

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Reuters had no way of independently verifying Habtam’s account since her home, to the north in Kobo, is off-limits to journalists due to fighting and phone connections to the area are down.

The United Nations said that the Ethiopian government is only letting a trickle of food trucks and no medicines or fuel into Tigray despite estimates that hundreds of thousands of people are in famine conditions there – a charge the government denies. Hospitals there have run out of crucial medicines.

Both sides accuse each other of committing atrocities. Reuters previously documented gang-rapes and mass killings of civilians in Tigray, and some Amhara residents told Reuters that Tigrayans were also committing abuses in territory they control. Both sides have denied the allegations.

Another woman at the camps told Reuters that she had been raped by an armed man speaking Tigrinya, the language of Tigray, in an area of Amhara under Tigrayan control.

Saada, aged 28, told Reuters she had been attacked in her house in Mersa, 80 km north of Dessie, by the armed man in plain clothes. She did not recall the exact date but said it was around the end of August.

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“He said to me ‘We left our houses both to kill and to die. I am from the jungle so, I have all the right to do whatever I want. I can even kill you’ and he raised his gun to me and threatened to kill me,” she said. “Then he raped me.”

She provided a card showing she had visited Dessie Comprehensive Specialised Hospital for treatment. She asked Reuters not to use her full name to protect her from reprisals.

Leul Mesfin, the medical director of Dessie hospital declined to answer questions about civilian injuries or rapes, or individual cases, because he said he did not trust foreign journalists.

When asked about the rape, Getachew of the TPLF said any reported incident would be investigated and that the actions of one man should not implicate Tigrayan forces in general.

“I can’t vouch for each and every off-breed idiot who masquerades as a fighter,” he said. “There are millions of [men with] guns there.”

The New Arab Staff

5 Comments

  1. Classical TRAGEDY a phenomenon in which the victim is fully aware of the danger but pushed himself to inflict heavy pain upon thyself. As the victim put it, with resigned spirit >>> “I CAN’HELP IT” <<<< and it goes on , and on, and on ……….WE CAN'T HELP IT. AMEN — INSHALLAH <>> if we don’t fight for the belief that we have absolutely no clue about!?!!?! IT IS IN OUR NATURE.
    OK, FOLKS, DON’T FORGET YOUR DAILY CAJOLING ROUTINE .

    Dear Editor
    In sincerity and seriousness, I THANK YOU VERY MUCH, for the free space to relieve my anxieties.

  2. Subject: “Ethiopians starved and raped in Amhara region by TPLF Terrorist Organization, 18 Oct 2021

    Humble Commentary, 18 Oct 2021
    Sadness with Facts
    All Ethiopians, of all sorts of ‘stripe,’ will NOT stop the sadness of self-destruction of ETHIOPIA (in totality). The few individuals who were instigating a self-induced destruction of an ANCIENT INDEPENDENT Country will not stop until they get their private ambition fulfilled at the cost of peace and development of Ethiopia. It is a perfect example of a deranged mind of persons who lost the balance of their minds. Nothing will stop such madness until nature, in its varied ways, take over and institute a course of action for a permanent silence upon disturbed individuals. It will happen with disastrous effectiveness, ones caught on the way. Just watch, patiently. OH! by the way, those who play tram-bones will switch direction and join those worshippers with a new Prime Ministership of Ethiopia.

    Let us not forget the recent history of the last Prime Minister of Ethiopia —Mr. Meles Zenawi, of Tigrai Origion — the most brilliant successful Prime Minister based on his own extra-ordinary strategy, and insightfullness which eventually led him to his untimely death. Dear Reader, Needless to say, it is your choice to satisfy your hunger to know the entire background that led to his end. Ethiopians, and ONLY Ethiopians, are responsible for ETHIOPIA. NO ONE ELSE.

    One final interesting observation: when things go wrong, even a mighty official of the highest responsibility shifts to safety quote: “ I can’t vouch for each and every off-breed idiot who masquerades as a fighter, — “There are millions of [men with] guns there.”” Unquote In the end, we are all humans with our respective weaknesses and little huts to save our skins. Yes, at the end, the giant heroes actually are little chickens on the same pedestal as the ordinary down to earth commoner. SMILE >>> You don’t pay for it but gain peaceful life with fraternity. May Ethiopia continue with its rich history and fraternal pride in ALL BLACK AFRICAN CONTINENT .

    THE END .

  3. These innocent victims will be in my family’s thoughts and prayers until their nightmare is over. Meanwhile I can’t afford but to ask myself how could all this be possible. How could this be possible when we were told back in November 2020 by the top brass of Abiy that Debre and his group had been reduced to where they will never be able wage even a neighborhood brawl let alone a war. So where all this military capability come from? Didn’t Bacha, Jula and other top brass in Abiy’s military tell us TPLF was done? I tell you what. I am questioning integrity now. I have been preparing myself for the fall of one major city after another. The longer this war drags on the better chance of battle fatigue is gonna ravage Abiy’s army. What I sense is Debre and his group are to be more determined/resolute to stay the course in this bloody conflict than Abiy’s men because Debre’s group had seen what happened to their mentors and colleagues who were killed or rotting in jail. They feel surrounded with iron clad blockade and left to die in hunger. It seems they are able to rally they people around that conclusion. The only way out of this senseless bloodletting is through an accord, a peaceful resolution amicable to everyone. Some in the West fear that the old country is descending into a civil war. This is a civil war! And it has to stop and stop now! Nobody is gonna come out the winner. Hundreds of thousands of the youth will senselessly perish.

  4. Let say it in boldness, TPLF means Fascism. What they are doing in Wollo, Gondar and Afar regions is so sadistic a normal human being will fail to comprehend their action. Reports coming from these regions is heart wrenching. People are being executed in broad daylight. Herds of animals including dogs are killed without mercy. This is what the TPLF is doing to the inhabitants of these regions. Terrorizing, killing and displacing them without mercy. Yet the one sided European and United States government are tricked by paid lobbyist and ill informed diplomats to side with the devilish TPLF. What on Earth are they thinking to reach such conclusion? Why are they not send an independent investigative group to these regions and find out who is doing what? Why will any government take at face value reports of CNN and other media outlet reports to reach a foreign policy decision? It is mind boggling. If anyone goes to these war zone areas, it will not take him/her much time to understand who is at fault and who is doing what. Yet, they chose to cry from afar and formulate their decisions based on lobbyist and false media reports. That is Western democracy I guess! garbage in garbage out.
    The aim of TPLF is clear. They have said it numerous times on Camera their goal is to destroy Ethiopia. To do that they must wipe out the Amhara people as well as the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. These assertion is corroborated by numerous high ranking TPLF officials via numerous print and other media outlets. Why then is the world so tarried to understand the plight of the Ethiopian people and its government? In my view, by disregarding the facts on the ground these powers want to assist the TPLF to help Ethiopia disintegrate like the former Yugoslavia. In this global conspiracy the Arabs are in it. That is why the Sudan is sending troops to border towns and occupying some Ethiopian territories and the Arab league is decrying Ethiopia. It is beyond me to fathom as to why the Sudanese fragile government is willing to destabilize Ethiopia. That fact is a problem in Ethiopia is a problem for the Sudan and vice versa.
    TPLF was and still is a terror group. They have terrorized the Tigrean people for almost a half a century. They have ruled the Ethiopian people with an iron fist for seventeen years. To hold on to power they have dissected the country into ethnic enclaves. Their atrocities in those years is sky high. But who cares. It is the blood of black people. As long as the TPLF serve the white ask and demand they can do anything and we will turn a blind eye was their reward. Will the tears of the farmers that lost their husbands, wife, kids as well as domestic animals and in general their livelihood be heard by the global world or the God above? Time will tell us. For now the war goes on an abated and blood is being shed from both sides. What a self inflicted wound and tragedy of travesty. Alas, a zero sum thinking and a moronic decision that serves no one. Such is the mind of the TPLF from the get go! Terror and more Terror.

  5. No government will tolerate when a regional military force attacks the federal/national force. TPLF had the chance for the last 27 years to prove that they are liberators but instead preferred to satiate their greed for power and greed by looting Ethiopian money and wealth while thousands if not millions starve to death.
    The allied forces did not stop by eliminating Hitler but hunted of Nazis who committed atrocities and the same should be done in Ethiopia. Looters and killers who have been terrorizing Ethiopia for the last 27 years should face justice. TPLF should admit that they have made mistakes and surrender if they really care for their people.

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