Tigrayans, friends to conduct protest rally in the US to commemorate 500 days of ‘Tigray Genocide’, raise awareness, call for action
Source: Globe News Net
Members and friends of the Tigrayan diaspora community across the United States plan to conduct a 2-day national protest on March 18th and 19th, against 500 days of genocide that has been committed against Tigrayans in Ethiopia.
According to organizers, protesters will demand the United States and the international community to take concrete action to stop the ongoing atrocities, sexual violence, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and man-made famine that have plagued the Ethiopian state of Tigray.
“For the past 16 months, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and his administration have led a systematic campaign of ethnic cleansing in Tigray, Ethiopia. Hundreds of thousands of civilians have been killed, and 6.8+ million people (91% of the population) need emergency food aid. Recent reports stated that 50% of Tigray’s population will starve to death in the next month if the international community does not intervene”, statement by the organizing committee reminded.
The organizers expect thousands of Tigrayans and friends of Tigray to gather on both protests on March 18th and March 19th, to raise awareness and to demand that the United States and the international community to act swiftly to ensure:
- The immediate withdrawal of Eritrean troops and Amhara regional security forces from Tigray
- The immediate cessation of hostilities;
- A UN-led investigation into the war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide on Tigray’s population; and
- That the United States expedites the hearing schedule of HR 6600.
The organizers told Globe News Net that their schedule for the anticipated rallies are:
- On Friday, March 18, 2022 at 11:00 AM at the Los Angeles Federal Building, 300 N Los Angeles St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
- On Saturday, March 19, 2022 at 12:00 PM at the Santa Monica Beach near the Pier, Ocean Ave and Colorado Ave, Santa Monica CA, 90401
Background of the War on Tigray
The war began in November 2020 when Ethiopia’s army, backed by Eritrean and Somalia national armies and troops from Ethiopian regional states, moved to oust a TPLF-led regional government in Tigray after a long-standing political hostilities between Abiy’s ruling party and the TPLF. The other dimension of the war was a genocidal campaign that has been brewing by elites from Amhara and Eritrean government. The trio combined their forces to unleash the November 2020 ‘war-of-annihilation’ on Tigrayans.
The more than 16-month-old war was marked by extreme brutality, including the use of rape and hunger as weapons of war, massacres and ethnic cleansing against Tigrayans. As a result, the conflict has left thousands dead and forced many others to flee their homes with hundreds of thousands driven to the brink of starvation, according to the United Nations.
The UN rights office last week reported that at least 304 civilians had been killed in air strikes in the north, particularly Tigray, since November. The UH Rights office also said that it has received reports of “306 rape incidents by Tigrayan forces in the Amhara region” between November 1 and Dec. 5, 2021.
A recent study by Mekelle University and the Regional Health Bureau showed that 120,000 women in a conservative Tigray came forward to report rape by either Ethiopian, Eritrean, or Amhara. Researchers say that the figure was only a tip of the iceberg, considering the sexual conservativism in Tigray into account. Tigray regional health bureau announced today that 7.3 % of the women who have been raped have been contracted with various sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and 5 % have been infected with HIV.
Since June, Tigray has been put under a total humanitarian blockade by the Ethiopian government, with only less than 10 %of the needed essential aid allowed to enter the region and no aid reached the region since December 15, 2021. This has resulted in man-made famine to more than 900,000 people in the region and more than 5400 deaths as a result.
The World Health Organization last month called for “unfettered access” into war-wracked Tigray, saying its first delivery of life-saving medical supplies since July last year had stalled due to lack of fuel.
Nearly 40 percentof people in Tigray, a region of six million people, face “an extreme lack of food”, the UN said last month. The dire assessment published by the World Food Programme (WFP) came as humanitarian groups increasingly curtail activities because of fuel and supply shortages.
An estimated 9.4 million people in northern Ethiopia’s Tigray, Amhara, and Afar regions are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance. Millions more are also suffering from severe food shortages, acute malnutrition is rising, disease and chronic illnesses are going untreated.