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Harrisonburg citizens raise awareness about conflict in Tigray, Ethiopia

Many are unable to contact their loved ones in Tigray amidst ongoing conflict.
Published: Dec. 27, 2020 at 8:48 PM EST
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -Tsega Kidanu is usually in contact with her family in Ethiopia every week, but for the last 50+ days she hasn’t heard anything.

“Now almost 55 or 57 days, nothing. We don’t have any connection, [and] we don’t know [if] they live or they die? We don’t know,” Kidanu said.

Because of conflict between Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Tigray state government, they say communication has been cut off and those living in Tigray have no food, water, or electricity. Hospitals and other buildings are being destroyed and civilians are being killed.

“They see big building, they hit. They see young people, they kill,” Kidanu said.

Tigrayans are fleeing to neighboring Sudan, and Kidanu says worry takes over her thoughts.

“I go [to] work, I’m very sad. When I come home, I can’t talk good with my family because I’m thinking, ‘Who’s died? We don’t know,’” Kidanu said.

Habtom Kahsaoi also has family in Tigray he is worried about, and wants the voiceless to be heard.

“We have to a voice for the voiceless,” Kahsaoi said.

Kahsaoi said it is hard to see pictures on social media of those who have died not knowing if you could recognize someone.

“We are scared to the Facebook and then Twitter, something like that. Because if any family members, if we see the passing away over the Twitter or Facebook messengers... we are very very sad about that situation,” Kahsaoi said.

Right now they ask for aide from the United States and any donations of money, clothes, or medical assistance.

“I say ‘Happy New Year’ for all of American or other people, everyone, happy new year. But for us, for [our] family, please pray to stay safe, to see [them] again,” Kidanu said.

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