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The U.N. Must End the Horrors of Ethiopia’s Tigray War
Recent human rights investigations confirm the atrocities that journalists reported in November. A strong multilateral push can force an Eritrean withdrawal and put the region on the path to peace.
In November 2020, as war broke out in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region, the scale of the suffering was already apparent to anyone on the Ethiopian-Sudanese border. As the Ethiopian National Defense Force and allied Amhara militias and Eritrean soldiers swept through the region in a pincer movement, Tigrayans began to flee en masse, walking for days without water to get to safety in neighboring Sudan.

Hundreds of refugees made an almost biblical sight as they traversed the Hamdayet River crossing that separates the two countries. Small boats laden with men, women, and children pushed against the current, ferrying people to safety every few minutes.

On the Sudanese side, middle-class Tigrayan women stood shaded under brightly colored umbrellas, desperately peering into every boat to look for their loved ones they had lost on the other side.

One woman’s anxiety was palpable. She had stood at the river in the beating sun with her baby strapped to her back for several days waiting for her family—and fearing the worst. “Please, help us,” she said. “Take their names and write about them.”


Tigray is a northern part of Ethiopia.