While the government of Addis Ababa announced that Mekelle, the capital of the Tigray region, had been taken by the Ethiopian army and declared victory over the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) over the weekend, the regional head of government Debretsion Gebremichael denied having fled to South Sudan, saying that its armed forces had captured some soldiers from neighboring Eritrea near Wukro, some 50 km north of Mekelle, suggesting that the conflict is not over and that it is in danger of spreading to other countries.
Meanwhile, Catholics in Ethiopia continue to pray for peace in their country. As the conflict escalates, Cardinal Berhaneyesus Souraphiel, Archbishop of Addis Ababa, reminds the faithful of the importance of helping our brothers and sisters at this time when the country is “under tension”. At the beginning of November, the Catholic bishops of Ethiopia called for an end to the violence and the start of a peaceful dialogue in the Tigray region, reported Fides News Agency.
Pope Francis recently called on the conflicting parties to stop the fighting. “The Holy Father is following the news from Ethiopia, where a military clash has been taking place for several weeks now, affecting the Tigray Region and the surrounding areas. Because of the violence, hundreds of civilians have died and tens of thousands of people are forced to flee their homes towards Sudan”, said the Director of the Press Office of the Holy See, Matteo Bruni.
Meanwhile, the spokesman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Babar Baloch, warned on November 17 that “a comprehensive humanitarian crisis was looming as thousands of refugees flee the ongoing fighting in the Ethiopian region of Tigray and seek security in Eastern Sudan”. According to the UNHCR spokesman, the United Nations is in talks with federal and regional authorities to gain humanitarian access to the Tigray region. According to the United Nations, around 40,000 refugees from Ethiopia have fled to Sudan.