11 July 2021

“We were in northern Ethiopia this week [2nd July 2022] when residents poured into the streets of Mekelle, the capital of the Tigray region, to celebrate an unexpected military victory.

After eight months of grinding battle, guerilla fighters had driven out the Ethiopian army and its allies who had been sent to tame the restive region. Now the victorious Tigrayans were returning from their mountain hideouts.

Women in the town of Gijet cheered them on. The war has taken a terrible toll on civilians, with reports of atrocities, sexual violence, looting and hunger. We met other Tigrayan women who had joined the forces.

We saw Tigrayan fighters guarding a camp that held hundreds of captured Ethiopian soldiers. These are rare images. There are only a handful of journalists in Mekelle, and with phones, internet and electricity cut off, it is hard to get the story out.”

Declan Walsh📍Reporting from Tigray

“Through fortunate timing, and with help from brave local residents, Declan Walsh and I recently gained the first media access to the frontlines of the eight-month war in Tigray for the New York Times.

The Ethiopian government has blocked journalists from accessing Tigray’s battlefields since the war began in November, but we spent the past two weeks with Tigray Defense Forces fighters as they prepared and then won an historic push against the Ethiopian army.

The Ethiopian army and their Eritrean allies are accused by the international community of atrocities, including mas rape, ethnic cleansing, and using hunger as a weapon of war.”

Finbarr O’Reilly comments in his Instagram account @finbarroreilly

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Warning: Some of the following images may be disturbing

Source: Finbarr O’Reilly