On 8 June 2021, the webinar “Brutalities against Religious leaders, Holy Places and Heritage in Tigray Confirmation” took place in the framework of the webinar series “Voices from Tigray”. The aim of this online meeting was to give a platform to testimonies of witnesses, describing the large-scale destruction and looting of cultural and religious heritage that occurred during the conflict in the Tigray region. Furthermore, religious leaders and local priests reported brutalities, atrocities and massacres against civilians, including religious leaders, that took place in holy sites, such as in the Maryam Tsion Church, in the Al-Nejash Mosque and in the Debre Damo monastery. After having listened to various witness testimonies, speakers called on the international community to put pressure on the Ethiopian government to push for the withdrawal of external troops from Tigray, by imposing sanctions; as well as support the reconstruction and recovery of the religious, cultural and historic heritage destroyed and looted during the conflict. Finally, experts reiterated the need for free access of humanitarian aid to the Tigray region.
Webinar proceedings (including all testimonies) can be found here: webinar proceedings.
In this week’s news highlights: United Nations Special Rapporteur states situation of Eritrean refugees of “grave concern”; UNICEF and Human Rights Watch state children severely affected by Tigray conflict; World Food Program reports that 90% of people in Tigray are in urgent need of food; Hundreds of detained people freed in Tigray after CNN report; Protests over US sanctions; 23 people drowned after a shipwreck off Tunisia; EU is developing and testing new surveillance digital technology that “dehumanise[s] people on the move”; Italy and France to collaborate on migration from Libya; New UK migration plan impacts the rights of refugees; Shift in migration to UK towards use of boats; and new UNHCR programme aims to enhance the education of refugees.
News Highlights: UNSC pressured to take action on sexual violence in Tigray, refugees expelled from Algeria, Greece plans far-reaching security measures
In this week’s news highlights: Former Liberian minister and MEP call for international pressure and sanctions in EEPA webinar: Conflict-Related Sexual Violence in Tigray; UK government asked to table a UNSC resolution over Tigray sexual violence; Sir Lowcock reports to UNSC that humanitarian aid is prevented from reaching people in Tigray; Alex de Waal discusses sexual violence as war weapon in Tigray conflict; IDPs displaced in overcrowded areas in Tigray, IOM reports; Migrants face additional hardships due to COVID-19 restrictions in the Horn of Africa; Africa ExPress: Algerian Government expels migrants and refugees and leaves them in the desert; Photos of drowned children on Zuwara beach from unknown shipwreck; EU FRA agency report shows discrimination among public authorities towards migrants; Refugees subjected to extreme security measures in Greek camps; Hundreds of Moroccan children live in squalid conditions in Ceuta; IOM hosts international dialogue discussing the impact of environmental disasters on migration.
For frequent updates about the situation in the Horn, please see the EEPA Horn situation reports.