Photo credit: Houreidja Tall
When the Rwandan Genocide occurred in 1994, the world said, “Never again!” but Protester 1, a Tigrayan New Yorker who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation, is saying, “it is happening again.” And this time in Ethiopia.
“There is an ethnic profiling going on,” said Protestor 1. “Tigrayans are being profiled, fired from their jobs and killed. Many are now refugees in neighboring Sudan, the only place they can seek refuge now.”
Members of the Tigrayan diaspora who held their first protest in November, then in January, are working on a third one nationwide to raise awareness about the humanitarian crisis in Tigray.
Even though many major publications in the US picked up the story, they are saying not enough has been done. They want the UN Security Council to do more. They want action and they want it now!
At their last rally at the UN, protesters were heard shouting:
“Allow humanitarian aid in Tigray. Stop the war! Stop the genocide! Stop the killing!
UN act now! Your silence is murder!
USA, your silence is murder!
Israel, your silence is murder!
Germany, your silence is murder!
Biden act now!”
“I’m not really interested in talking about the political aspect of the crisis but the humanitarian one,” said Protester 1. “It’s been more than 75 days since there was a blackout in Tigray. We don’t know where our families are. We know nothing. We just want international aid to reach them.”
When Europeans countries met at the Berlin conference in 1884 to cut Africa into pieces, many ethnic groups who would have not chosen to be together, found themselves confined around the same borders. This fact alone was at the root of many internal conflicts in Africa, but not this one, according to another Tigrayan New Yorker who thinks there is more to it.
“The conflict is not just between the Ethiopian government and the Tigrayan state. There is foreign military involved,” said Protester 2, who also spoke on condition of anonymity.
When asked who would benefit from the current situation and if there were natural resources to scramble, Protester 2 replied: “This will benefit Ethiopia’s enemies. There is no oil to drill, but the history of the region is being destroyed. There has been looting and destruction of architectural artifacts.”
“Every 30 years something happens in Ethiopia,” Protester 1 added. “This is another generation that will go through trauma and suffer from this.”
The conflict between the Ethiopian government and the Region of Tigray started on November 4, 2020.
Members of the Tigrayan diaspora are calling on the African Diaspora and the rest of the world to speak up and help their family members, stuck between governmental and Tigrayan forces, get the help they need.
For more information, visit: https://linktr.ee/tigrayrefugeesrelieftristate