War | Negasi Haylu Abreha, the cyclist separated from his family by the Ethiopian conflict

Last November 4, 2020, just over a year after the Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali, was recognized with the Nobel Peace Prize, the Ethiopian National Defense Force launched a military operation against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front in the northernmost of the ten ethnic regions of the country. A reaction from federal government covered in a previous attack on a base by the TPLF (for its acronym in English). The outbreak of violence in the north of the Horn of Africa country has resulted in a humanitarian catastrophe marked by the trail of the dead and the thousands of displaced. Lack of basic supplies, health centers closed and looted, hunger … The Minister of Women, Children and Youth, Filsan Abdullahi Ahmed, has revealed that they have documented numerous violations in the region in recent weeks. A terrifying panorama that has splashed the cyclist Negasi Haylu Abreha, belonging to the continental structure of the Team Qhubeka ASSOS, a native of the area and with whom ESTADIO Deportivo has been able to contact. “I can’t tell you much about my country. My family is in Tigray and I’m afraid of losing them,” confesses the young runner, barely 20, in tune with what he revealed on his team’s website a few days ago: “My mother told me never to ask about the situation on the phone in fear of her security“During the communication, he is grateful for the interest and clarifies that it is impossible for him to contact his home through Internet: “Everything is down.” The calls, if they do occur, they are very short. “Hello, Negasi. We are fine, everyone is fine and we love you. Ciao”, her mother usually replies as a rule.

The Ethiopian, who rises every morning not knowing if his people are still safe and sound, he tries to put all his Energy at job. “I have more stressbut I’m trying hard because I dream of being professional runner and to be able to help my family “, he assures ED from Italy, European headquarters of the South African bloc. “There are not meal no water, they have closed everything. There are no shops or business open. My parents can’t do anything. My older brother is hairdresser, but now it can’t work. I have three younger sisters, in a normal situation they should be in school, but all schools They are closed. With the help of a friend I was able to send them some money last year “, deepened the Qhubeka cyclist, who did not get rid these days of the dark side of the social networks, with a compatriot who reproached him for hanging Photos of his trainings given the climate that was lived in the country.

A complex context with which the Ethiopian history expert Mario Lozano Alonso, author of works such as ‘Pedro Páez and the Sources of the Blue Nile’ or the volume of the archeology collection of National Geographic dedicated to the churches of Lalibela. The Leonese, also a professor at the Ge’ez language (classical Ethiopian), analyzes for this newspaper the causes and perspectives of this situation of war. “It is not so much an ethnic conflict as a power conflict. The TPLF has held power for three decades in Ethiopia. When Abiy Ahmed ascended, he was supported above all by the part oromo of the EPRDF, the single party, in order to end the dominance of the TPLF in the party. And so he did, accusing many of the former charges of corruption. In a way, I think it was a very awkwardly executed move. Resentful, the TPLF retired to his native region, the Tigray, where a policy of hostility towards the new prime minister. In fact, when the EPRDF became the new Prosperity Party, the TPLF was not invited to join, which led to its marginalization. The general elections scheduled for 2020 were postponed by the COVID, but the Tigrian government decided to celebrate them on the scheduled date, challenging the central government, whose results (98% win for the TPLF) did not acknowledge. From then on, the TPLF began to carry out military parades to show his power. During the time of Meles Zenawi (1995-2012) the TPLF had taken special care of the national defense militia, which is especially well endowed. And finally, on November 4, the attack to the federal army base of Mekele, waiting for the troops to join the TPLF and thus gain access to its arsenal. That’s where the conflict“, clarifies Lozano, who also values ​​the repercussions as regards the neighboring countries and other agents.

“It is suspected that United Arab Emirates would be supporting the Ethiopian army with their drones, but it is not confirmed. SudanFor its part, it has taken advantage of Ethiopian weakness to occupy fertile border territories that it had been claiming for a long time. Thus, in addition, they hope to be able to press on the issue of Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile. Already Eritrea this war is a point in favor of Isaiah Afewerki. Staunch enemy of the TPLF and now ally of Abiy Ahmed since the signing of the peace, the presence of Eritrean troops in Tigray is known to have caused killings and destruction of heritage. Have probably occurred settling of scores in the Eritrean political refugee camps in Tigray. The new alliance with Ethiopia it is a relief for a country that was very isolated. Finally, it is worth mentioning Somalia, a country affected by this situation because it is believed that Ethiopia has been displacing troops destined to fight against Al-shabab to fight with the Tigrinas. Despite the fact that at the end of November the federal government proclaimed its victory, those of the TPLF they have thrown themselves into the guerrilla warfare. Still the government of Addis does not control 40% of the territory of the kilil, although it controls the main cities and roads “, concludes the expert in Ethiopian history and administrator of the website ‘www.reinodeaksum.com’.

Gebre, in the center of the storm

Closer than to Negasi Haylu Abreha The conflict has caught the Swedish cyclist of Eritrean origin Awet Andemeskel, of the Israel Cycling Academy, which in November He disappeared of the map in the area when he went to meet his family again in Mekele, epicenter of the war. With the passing of the days, Marcelino pacheco, representative of the runner, offered some hope in Marca: “Luckily, a sister of hers who lives in Sweden told us this Tuesday that they are hidden waiting for everything to pass. “Situation similar to that experienced by Haile Melekot, who wore the colors of the Aldro and the Caja Rural and that he was also trapped after the development of events.

The same happens with Letesenbet Gidey nationalized athletes, born in Tigray and who decided to travel to Ethiopia before the war, and the five times champion of Spain of cross Trihas gebre, also a native of the region and with whom he lost contact months ago. As with Awet, a brief communication Somewhat calmed the fear among those closest to him. A teammate of the Bilbao Athletics team, Iñigo Eseverri, managed to exchange a phrase with her. “He told us that he was fine, that he had had to take refuge with his family in the mountains, that he was starving and afraid, but she was alive, “her coach clarified in Marca for several seasons, Ricardo Jimenez, in mid December. The almanac continues to shed its leaves and the worst of the human condition does not cease in Ethiopia. A calamity buried under the informational tsunami of the coronavirus.