Ethiopia: Amhara refugees far from their families in Dessie

Street scene in Lalibela, Amhara region, northern Ethiopia, February 2, 2019. REUTERS / Thomas Mukoya

Text by: RFI Follow

3 min

Almost ten months after the start of the Tigray War, fighting continues between Tigrayan rebel forces and the federal government of Ethiopia.

After regaining control of Tigray, the rebels are now leading an offensive in two neighboring regions, in Afar and in the Amhara region.

The fighting has put about 150,000 people on the road since mid-July.

Many took refuge in Dessie.

RFI met them in the Addis Fana camp.

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With our special correspondent in Dessie,

Noé Hochet-Bodin

From his hometown of Kobo to Dessie, Zerfe Molla and his son walked more than 150 kilometers to flee the advancing Tigrayan rebels. 

 I came to take refuge because of the war.

We left on foot every day at dawn and we cut across the field.

We had to because there was no car available.

 "

Like Zerfe, 19-year-old Yohannes preferred to leave Kobo where his family still resides.

He feared reprisals from the TPLF party in Tigray.

“ 

When the TPLF entered the city, they did not attack the population.

I left when I saw that our army was retreating.

I was scared.

But in the end, the rebels didn't kill us.

 "

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See also: Ethiopia: US sanctions against an Eritrean general accused of abuses in Tigray

"

Everyone is ready to face this terrorist group

 "

Without a telephone network, it is impossible for Yohannes, Zerfe and the others to know the situation in the northern Amhara region at present.

For the deputy mayor of Dessie, Said Youssouf, it is time to mobilize to go and reconquer Kobo and its surroundings: “

Everyone is ready to face this terrorist group.

In Dessie, we welcomed all these displaced people.

But now we are also ready to attack the rebels.

 "

Militiamen were also present in Addis Fana camp to try to enlist displaced people.

► 

To read also: Conflict in Ethiopia: a new deal with the rapprochement of the Tigrayan and Oromo rebels?

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  • Ethiopia

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