A burned tank near the town of Adwa in the Tigray region. REUTERS – BAZ RATNER
In Ethiopia, the conflict continues in Tigray region. This northern region is still plagued by violence between the former TPLF government on the one hand, and the federal army, Eritrean soldiers and Amhara militiamen on the other. The conflict has left thousands of people dead and has also caused considerable damage.
With our special correspondent in Adwa, Sébastien Németh
The streets of Adwa are almost deserted. Many of the stores still bear bullet or fire scars and are now closed. Bereket is a 24-year-old driver. He blames the Ethiopian and Eritrean military.
“We stay at home because we are afraid of running into soldiers. Factories, businesses and hospitals have been destroyed. The economy is down. People are hungry and everyone is waiting for humanitarian aid that is not coming,” laments the young man.
Those who have not fled are doing what they can to survive. Selam is 20 years old and sells coffee in the streets. “I had a café in the next town but it was looted by the soldiers. I had nothing left and I was afraid to stay there. So I came to Adwa. But life is hard. There is no work, no banks and there are shortages,” she said.
Most of the health centers in the area have been destroyed. Adwa had two hospitals. One public hospital was attacked and looted. The other private hospital is not accessible to everyone. Residents like Gebremariam, 78 years old, find themselves without a solution.
“The health center in my village was destroyed. Here, the general hospital is closed. The private hospital is too expensive. It is a strategy to make the population suffer. Today, if I get sick, I will die,” explains the old man.
According to experts, 70% of the health centers in Tigray have been looted and 30% damaged. Only 16% are reportedly functional.