War is raging in Tigray, the country’s most touristic region. It started in September and became poisoned in November 2020. Almost a year later, it still persists and increases.
Each of the country’s 10 states has its own special forces and militias. Those in Tigray are led by the TPLF (Tigray People’s Liberation Front) party, which is trying to fully control the region autonomously and no longer recognizes the authority of the federal state.
The tensions have been going on for many years but conflict erupted when the TPLF held its own parliamentary elections. Some time later, Abiy Ahmed, Prime Minister of Ethiopia, accused the TPLF of attacking a federal state military base. An offensive is launched. Ahmed sent troops from the Ethiopian army, Eritrean allies and militias from the neighbouring Amhara region.
This offensive by the fighters provoked a bloody war and a total imbalance in Tigray. At the same time, regains of territories outside the main conflict as far as Amhara and Afar were disputed. The combatants are responsible for a very large migratory wave (several hundred thousand refugees) and dramatic crimes against humanity.
The operation can be described as genocide. The techniques used against the Tigrayan people are catastrophic. A great famine rages throughout the region in addition to the massacre of hundreds of citizens and the violence perpetrated by the army. There is talk of hundreds of rapes, mutilations and other barbarities and atrocities, of which I will pass on to you details, with the aim of subjugating the people and destroying the ethnic identity of Tigraya.
NGOs and humanitarian aid fail to supply the region for several months and Amnesty International’s record has not improved. The TPLF, now in power in the regional capital Mekele, is rattling with tensions.
Despite the Prime Minister’s reassuring words about controlling the conflict in Tigray before the war, the situation shows that he actually has very little control over the region. And this, despite winning his Nobel Peace Prize following his resolution of the conflict between his country and Eritrea.
At this time, future soldiers from all over the country are sent by the Prime Minister to join the front and ally with Ethiopian troops. For the most part young, and without field experience. Many of them see it as the honor of defending their homeland while others see it as a solution to earn money. I hope that this disaster will come to an end.
Can I travel to Ethiopia?
With all these instabilities and this weight that weighs on the nation, I think we should avoid going there for the moment. The echoes of the conflict seem to be spreading throughout the country. When I was in Ethiopia, there was even movement in the cities I passed through, which are the opposite of Tigray.
In addition, the government has suspended all entry facilities (E-visas & visas on arrival). Since June 18, 2021, until further notice. It is now necessary to apply his application to the embassy, but it is unlikely that the government will accept it for tourism purposes.
(Update: 10/09/2021: Tourist visas are reinstated again, excluding visas on arrival. It is now necessary to apply an application for an E-visa here or a consular visa)