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Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Understanding the fragile ceasefire and humanitarian crisis in Tigray

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Nick Schifrin:

Today in Tigray, celebration for what Tigrayans are calling liberation day.

In the city of Shire, residents posted cell phone videos of Tigrayan rebels entering the city, flying the Tigrayan flag. Just hours before, Tigray’s capital, Mekelle, erupted in fireworks, after Ethiopian soldiers retreated.

For the last eight months those Ethiopian soldiers, with allies from neighboring Eritrea, left a trail of scorched earth. They occupied much of Tigray in a conflict with Tigrayan military and political forces, who used to run the country, and recently defied Nobel peace-prize winning Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

Ahmed and the military responded with what international humanitarian groups call widespread atrocities, the most violent, just last week children and more than 60 civilians, killed while they shopped at a market bombed by Ethiopian planes.

Families wailed and waited for 27 hours for international health care workers to arrive, after Ethiopian ground troops blocked access. When a convoy of ambulances finally carried away the wounded, so many arrived at a hospital 20 miles away, the rooms overflowed, and the lobby became a triage center, the victims barely older than this civil war.

A mother looked on as Dr. Kinfe Radae tries to save a young life.

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