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Posts Tagged ‘Families’

How The Tigray Crisis is Affecting Families in The U.S.

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on August 28, 2021

💭 Ethiopia Conflict Leaves Diaspora in US Fearing for Families

As chaos envelops Kabul after Afghanistan’s government collapsed and the Taliban seized control, horrific stories and heartbreaking images also pour out of Ethiopia. Some in the U.S. with a connection to the African country are feeling a call to action.

In Washington, D.C., home to the largest concentration of Ethiopians in the U.S. and the largest Ethiopian population outside Africa, there’s an intense debate over the war and who’s at fault.

“Tigray is part of Ethiopia. Tigrayans are Ethiopians until they decide otherwise. So any war, any suffering in Ethiopia, should be a pain to everybody,” Assefa Fisseha, a man who fled the country 20 years to begin a new life in America, told ABC News.

In Fisseha’s homeland, within the northern region of Tigray, millions are caught in the middle of civil war between Tigrayan defense forces and the Ethiopian government.

Each side has been accused of atrocities throughout the conflict, with systemic rape and starvation used as weapons of war, according to the United Nations, senior U.S. officials and monitoring groups like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. Roads, bridges, hospitals and farms have been destroyed, exacerbating the humanitarian catastrophe, according to aid groups.

But information can be hard to come by. Internet outages by the Ethiopian government have disconnected families inside and outside the country for days, weeks or even months at a time, according to Internet monitor NetBlocks.

With over 110 million people, Ethiopia is the second-most populous country in Africa. The conflict has left thousands dead and displaced roughly two million people in Tigray, according to the United Nations refugee agency.

“On the ground, what I’m really seeing is just hungry people there, people are extremely paranoid and protective,” Leoh Hailu-Ghermy, who made a two-day trek to the region to deliver supplies and aid to refugees, told ABC News.

Hailu-Ghermy is one of the voices in the movement to end the war many activists call a modern-day genocide.

Earlier this month, more apparent victims of the atrocities in the brutal, 10-monthlong civil war washed up on a riverbank in neighboring Sudan. Fifty bodies were believed to be Tigrayans from a nearby village, according to The Associated Press.

There have been reports of massacres, ethnic cleansing and widespread sexual assault by Ethiopian government troops, according to Amnesty International.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said the U.S. has seen “acts of ethnic cleansing,” but stopped short of calling the atrocities genocide — a specific legal term in international law. The Ethiopian government has fiercely denied such accusations.

“It’s really heartbreaking to see that people’s livelihoods can be stripped away from them in such an unfair way and that the world wouldn’t care because of the geography of that place or because of the race of those people,” Hailu-Ghermy said.

Just last week, the Biden administration called out the Ethiopian government for obstructing humanitarian aid, including convoys, saying aid workers will run out of food this week.

In May, President Joe Biden issued a lengthy statement, calling for a ceasefire, negotiations to halt the conflict and an end to human rights abuses, including the widespread sexual violence.

The Biden administration also tapped a special envoy for the region to push for a diplomatic solution — and fired a warning shot at the Ethiopian government, a critical U.S. partner, by imposing limited sanctions.

MORE: US restricting visas, aid over conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region

In May, the State Department said it imposed visa bans on officials from Ethiopia and neighboring Eritrea — whose military crossed the border to fight Tigrayan forces. Because visas are confidential by law, it did not say who was impacted but the U.S. Treasury slapped financial sanctions on Monday on General Filipos Woldeyohannes, the chief of staff of the Eritrean Defense Forces, accusing his forces of massacres, looting, rape, torture and extrajudicial killings of civilians.

Hailu-Ghermy and other advocates say they are looking for more action.

Ethiopian prime minister Abiy Ahmed was once seen as a popular reformer when he came into power in 2018, even winning the Nobel Peace Prize for ending a decades-long war with neighboring Eritrea. His election unseated the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, or TPLF, which dominated Ethiopia politics prior to his administration, and tensions between his federal government and their regional leaders exploded into conflict last November.

“Now that the conflict has been ongoing for several months, it produces its own logic. And so every atrocity, every retaliation begets another retaliation and unfortunately, another atrocity,” Aly Verjee, a senior adviser to the Africa program at the U.S. Institute of Peace, told ABC News.

Tigrayans celebrated when Abiy declared a ceasefire in June, but now their forces are on the offensive and Abiy responded with a call for all capable citizens to take up arms and join the fight to show patriotism.

“Ethiopians at home and abroad, your motherland calls upon you. History has shown that there is no force that can stand in our way when we say no more,” he said in a statement.

Analysts fear the conflict will spiral further out of control, putting hundreds of thousands on the brink of famine and potentially spilling over borders to Ethiopia’s neighbors.

“Let’s not forget that the reason the majority of Ethiopian Americans are in the United States is because, at one time or another, there was conflict in Ethiopia. Let’s not see another generation of Ethiopians feel that they have to leave the country because of conflict,” Verjee said.

Courtesy: abc NEWS

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Posted in Ethiopia, Life, News/ዜና, War & Crisis | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Whose Side Is God on Now?

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on April 8, 2014

By Pat Buchanan
 
MoralWarIn his Kremlin defense of Russia’s annexation of Crimea, Vladimir Putin, even before he began listing the battles where Russian blood had been shed on Crimean soil, spoke of an older deeper bond.
 
Crimea, said Putin, “is the location of ancient Khersones, where Prince Vladimir was baptized. His spiritual feat of adopting Orthodoxy predetermined the overall basis of the culture, civilization and human values that unite the peoples of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.”
 
Russia is a Christian country, Putin was saying.
 
This speech recalls last December’s address where the former KGB chief spoke of Russia as standing against a decadent West:
 
“Many Euro-Atlantic countries have moved away from their roots, including Christian values. Policies are being pursued that place on the same level a multi-child family and a same-sex partnership, a faith in God and a belief in Satan. This is the path to degradation.”
 
Heard any Western leader, say, Barack Obama, talk like that lately?
 
Indicting the “Bolsheviks” who gave away Crimea to Ukraine, Putin declared, “May God judge them.”
 
What is going on here?
 
With Marxism-Leninism a dead faith, Putin is saying the new ideological struggle is between a debauched West led by the United States and a traditionalist world Russia would be proud to lead.
 
In the new war of beliefs, Putin is saying, it is Russia that is on God’s side. The West is Gomorrah.
 
Western leaders who compare Putin’s annexation of Crimea to Hitler’s Anschluss with Austria, who dismiss him as a “KGB thug,” who call him “the alleged thief, liar and murderer who rules Russia,” as the Wall Street Journal’s Holman Jenkins did, believe Putin’s claim to stand on higher moral ground is beyond blasphemous.
But Vladimir Putin knows exactly what he is doing, and his new claim has a venerable lineage. The ex-Communist Whittaker Chambers who exposed Alger Hiss as a Soviet spy, was, at the time of his death in 1964, writing a book on “The Third Rome.”
 
The first Rome was the Holy City and seat of Christianity that fell to Odoacer and his barbarians in 476 A.D. The second Rome was Constantinople, Byzantium, (today’s Istanbul), which fell to the Turks in 1453. The successor city to Byzantium, the Third Rome, the last Rome to the old believers, was — Moscow.
 
Putin is entering a claim that Moscow is the Godly City of today and command post of the counter-reformation against the new paganism.
 
Putin is plugging into some of the modern world’s most powerful currents.
 
Not only in his defiance of what much of the world sees as America’s arrogant drive for global hegemony. Not only in his tribal defense of lost Russians left behind when the USSR disintegrated.
 
He is also tapping into the worldwide revulsion of and resistance to the sewage of a hedonistic secular and social revolution coming out of the West.
 
In the culture war for the future of mankind, Putin is planting Russia’s flag firmly on the side of traditional Christianity. His recent speeches carry echoes of John Paul II whose Evangelium Vitae in 1995 excoriated the West for its embrace of a “culture of death.”
 
What did Pope John Paul mean by moral crimes?
 
The West’s capitulation to a sexual revolution of easy divorce, rampant promiscuity, pornography, homosexuality, feminism, abortion, same-sex marriage, euthanasia, assisted suicide — the displacement of Christian values by Hollywood values.
 
GoodVsEvilWashington Post columnist Anne Applebaum writes that she was stunned when in Tbilisi to hear a Georgian lawyer declare of the former pro-Western regime of Mikhail Saakashvili, “They were LGBT.”
 
“It was an eye-opening moment,” wrote Applebaum. Fear and loathing of the same-sex-marriage pandemic has gone global. In Paris, a million-man Moral Majority marched in angry protest.
 
Author Masha Gessen, who has written a book on Putin, says of his last two years, “Russia is remaking itself as the leader of the anti-Western world.”
 
But the war to be waged with the West is not with rockets. It is a cultural, social, moral war where Russia’s role, in Putin’s words, is to “prevent movement backward and downward, into chaotic darkness and a return to a primitive state.”
 
Would that be the “chaotic darkness” and “primitive state” of mankind, before the Light came into the world?
 
This writer was startled to read in the Jan-Feb. newsletter from the social conservative World Council of Families in Rockford, Ill., that, of the “ten best trends” in the world in 2013, number one was “Russia Emerges as Pro-Family Leader.”
 
In 2013, the Kremlin imposed a ban on homosexual propaganda, a ban on abortion advertising, a ban on abortions after 12 weeks and a ban on sacrilegious insults to religious believers.
 
“While the other super-powers march to a pagan world-view,” writes WCF’s Allan Carlson, “Russia is defending Judeo-Christian values. During the Soviet era, Western communists flocked to Moscow. This year, World Congress of Families VII will be held in Moscow, Sept. 10-12.”
 
Will Vladimir Putin give the keynote?
 
In the new ideological Cold War, whose side is God on now?
 
Continue reading the comments…
 

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