A deadly civil war has been raging in Ethiopia, Africa’s proud capital, historically unbowed to any European colonial power, and the continent’s second most populous nation. This war began in November 2020 in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region, between the Tigray Defence Force (TDF) and the Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF) but has since metastasized within and beyond Ethiopia, with the potential to destabilize the Horn of Africa region.
While there has been a communication blackout throughout the conflict, it is estimated that over 10,000 have already died, up to 230 in massacres, and about 900,000 refugees and 2.3 million IDPs have been created by the conflict, compounded by an ongoing famine. Grave atrocities are reported to have been committed by both sides in a conflict emanating from a power tussle in which the proverbial grass suffers the most as two elephants slug it out. Genocide, massacres, forced disappearances, attacks on refugee camps, destruction of cultural and religious sites, rape and sexual assault have reportedly been employed as weapons in this trenchant and unabating conflict. Once again, it is women and girls who bear a disproportionate burden of the atrocities of war and conflict, as both sides target them, and they are displaced, killed, raped, abducted, and denied humanitarian aid and assistance. The world looks on, and the African Union seems incapable of meaningful intervention to stop the carnage.
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