Ethiopia’s war in Tigray risks wiping out centuries of the world’s history

Human genocide and heritage destruction in Ethiopia’s Tigre region that began in November 2020 Horrible, Thousands were killed, millions displaced and many historical monuments damaged by invading forces in the north of the East African country.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed launched military operation Against the Tigre People’s Liberation Front on 4 November 2020. Ethiopian army and Eritrean soldiers as well as Amhara militia groups brutally attacked civilians, they also destroyed religious, historical and cultural sites of immense value. Some of the damage done to these sites is documented through calls made by Tigrayan using satellite phones.

The area’s heritage sites have been intentionally targeted. To appreciate the weight of these attacks, the role and impact of church in ethiopia need to be understood.

The Church underscores the historical and modern claims of political and military authority in Ethiopia. It has shaped community identity and informed cultural narratives.

Hence bombing and destruction There are attacks on traditional power structures in churches as well as other religious sites. these sites are nurtured, multi-functional gathering places and holy places. Looting and attacking them is a gross insult to cultural values.

a report good Three months into the battle in February 2021, the Tigre Orthodox Church diocese found that 326 members of the priesthood had been killed. There is no clear data on how many members of the clergy have been killed since then. While a general assessment of damage has been done in at least 40 churches and monasteries, my analysis It is found that hundreds of such sites have been affected by the war.

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I have received confidential local report From people who have satellite phones to the scale of devastation. This is a result of the network that I have established over the past decade visit To undertake manuscript evaluation and digitization at several historical sites in the Tigre.

monuments of civilization

is ethiopia Source of different civilizations in sub-Saharan Africa. It is believed that its history is more than 3,000 years old. Most of the historical artifacts the country is famous for are originally from today’s Tigre.

for example, Aksumite civilizationOne of four known civilizations founded in the 1st century CE (besides Rome, Persia and China), was in today’s central Tigre.

In the Bible, the Qur’an and inscriptions in South Arabia, words such as “Ethiopia” and “HBst” (Abyssinia) exist. The centers of almost all city-states and civilizations before 13CE were found in present-day Tigre, Eritrea and Agawa (a highland in present-day northern Ethiopia).

Aksumite Monument And Lalibela Rock ChurchBoth UNESCO-registered heritage sites are among the treasures of East African civilization.

The alpha-syllabic Aksumite writing system, Gǝʿǝz/Fidäl, is the only ancient writing system still in use in modern Africa. The Gz script is still used in Ethiopia, indicating that Africa is not only the cradle of people and culture, but also of literacy.

The tigre is the foundation for hundreds of thousands of manuscripts and hundreds of inscriptions written in geese. The world’s oldest Christian manuscript (from 6CE) – The Gospel of Garima – is preserved in the central Tigre.

Abrahamic religions were introduced in the early era – Christianity before the 4th century and Islam in the first half of the 7th century – through the Tigre in Africa.

In the early introduction of these monotheistic religions and its writing system, the Tigre preserved a large amount of religious and cultural artifacts. This heritage documents the history of the Ethiopian state and its religious institutions.

complex political culture

Ethiopia is a country of rich anthropological values ​​and complex political culture. It is known for its war with foreign invaders as well as civil strife. Countless cultural heritages have been destroyed in these conflicts.

In the current war, many heritage sites of the Tigre have been targeted by attacking soldiers. There are thousands of churches, monasteries, mosques and symbolic Islamic settlements, archaeological sites, museums and ritual centers in the region. These places are popular among tourists from all over the world and pilgrims from across the country.

Hundreds of these have been heritage sites The destroyed in the ongoing war. For example, the church of Aksum Tsien is the head of the churches and monasteries of Ethiopia. It is symbolized as the abode of the Ark of the Covenant. He was sabotage after hundreds of citizens the killing Around its yard by Eritrean soldiers in November 2020.

The Al-Najashi Mosque was a symbol of the first introduction of Islam to Africa bombing in December 2020.

valuable medieval manuscripts burnt and ransacked, Thousands of artifacts were looted and smuggled International market,


Heritage artifacts present historical evidence and are a means of tourism development. But more than that, they have a social component, enhancing human existence and giving it more meaning. People are emotionally attached to their heritage, beliefs, language and identity.

Religious objects and ecclesiastical materials are excellent, emotional means between believers and their God/Creator. They are also a display of genetic memory between descendants and their ancestors.

The people of the Tigre have been deprived of their natural and human rights in this conflict. He has challenged both his existence and a meaningful life.

The global community needs to take steps to address the continuing loss of human life and protect the cultural heritage of the Tigre. Destroying the region’s tangible heritage and destroying monuments of intangible value can result in irreversible cultural trauma and social collapse.

Read more:
Why the African Union’s mediation effort in Tigre is a non-start

Whereas Very International agencies have expressed their concern about the situation in Ethiopia, with no practical action being taken to save the lives of the tigers or their heritage.

The African Union established its headquarters in Addis Ababa a hint As far as battle of adva (in Tigre), which was against colonialism. Yet, in a stroke of historical irony, the Sangh has delayed condemning the brutal killing of tigers and destruction of historical artifacts.

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