Living under critical conditions in Ethiopia
EPO Delegate Superior
Here is a letter we just received from the Delegate Superior of Ethiopia, giving some news of what they are enduring these days with their dear people of Ethiopia.I have just commnicated with the Delegate and we agreed that the names be removed for evident reasons of security. Those who want to know more can consult the Book of Personnel. Let us join with them in prayer for Peace is this beautiful land.
Philippe Docq, M.Afr.
The Ethiopian Government forces launched military operations in Tigray (Northern Region) 12 days ago after the government accused local authorities of attacking a military camp and attempting to loot military assets. The TPLF (Tigray People’s Liberation Front), which is in power in the region, denies the charge and has accused the prime minister (Abiy Ahmed) of concocting the story to justify the offensive. Since the war started, air strikes and ground combat between government forces and the TPLF have killed hundreds of people, and losses of properties and so far 25,000 refugees have crossed into Sudan.
We now hear that in Tigray region all the communications are shut down (no telephone, no internet, and no movement, no electricity) and media are barred. We can hardly get any information from that region apart from what the government of Ethiopia puts on National TV and other media.
We also hear that people are struggling to get food, water and medicine. It is indeed a critical humanitarian situation.
Where are the Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers) in Ethiopia ?
In Ethiopia, the M.Afr have communities in three places which are Adigrat, Wukro and Kombolcha. Kombolcha is in Amhara region in the central part of Ethiopia and so far this community is safe. In this community we have 2 Missionaries of Africa and one Stagiaire.
Adigrat and Wukro are within Tigray region where the war is. In Adigrat we have seven confreres. We also have one Missionary of Africa in a place called Abiy Adi at some 120 km away from Adigrat. In Adigrat we also have 5 seminarians who are in the pre first cycle (St Paul Formation house).
In Wukro community we have one missionary of Africa who right now is in Spain and two diocesan priests. We also have more than 20 workers in both communities.
Our concern and cry
Since the beginning of the conflict we have no news from our confreres in Adigrat and Wukro. Are they safe? Are they still in their communities? Have they fled? Do they have food or water? We have no information.
I have tried to contact International Red Cross (ICRC) offices in Addis to see if they could help me get some information on our confreres in Tigray and so far they have not yet succeeded. I have also made attempts to reach the Bishop of Adigrat and the Diocesan offices but in vain. It is really very worrying not to know about our confreres and so we are asking you and all the people of good will to pray for our confreres and the entire Ethiopia so that peace may prevail again in this beautiful country.
EPO Delegate Superior
18th November 2020