Unresolved: Eritrea accused of terrorizing Tigray region

By August 14, 2023

Ethiopia (MNN) — Three years after an attack that horrified onlookers, solutions remain elusive.

This week, Eritrea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned the British Charge d’Affaires a.i. to Asmara, Eritrea’s capital for a dressing down over “unwarranted remarks of [the] British Ambassador to Ethiopia during his recent visit to Mekelle apparently endorsing TPLF’s irredentist claims.”

In 2021, Eritrean soldiers roamed northern Ethiopia during a months-long civil war in the Tigray region. In November 2020, they were accused of massacring hundreds of people near an ancient Christian church in the city of Axum. Amnesty International reports soldiers opening fire in the streets and going from house to house executing people. 

At that time, the Associated Press reported bodies filling the streets and soldiers forbidding people from burying them. Read more here

Refugee camp attacks

Eric Foley of the Voice of the Martyrs Korea says Eritrean troops also attacked two refugee camps in the Tigray region, activity which remains ongoing. “[They are] taking advantage of the chaos to go in and reclaim citizens who escaped that terrible regime that’s been called the North Korea of Africa. And now they’ve been returned to prisons in Eritrea.”

Foley says VOM Korea is working with their partners to learn more about these attacks. “On the level of the individual we’re trying to find out who’s escaped to Addis Ababa. How can we help them? And who has been returned to Eritrea? These are difficult things to find. In some cases, it’s going to take us years.”

The Church in the Tigray region

However, God’s kingdom continues to advance in the Tigray region, even during times of horrific violence. Foley says, “We’re receiving reports from our partners about visits to hospitals to deal with really serious injuries on the part of children and the elderly. But at the same time, we’re getting reports about churches performing baptisms. We are even hearing about Christian weddings happening during this time.”