The OCP Executive Council Urge Objective Investigation of War Crimes in Tigray (Statement)

OCP News Release – OCP News Service – 2/3/21

A statement from the Chairman on behalf of the Executive Council of the Orthodoxy Cognate PAGE, Pan-Orthodox Christian Society urging an independent Investigation of War Crimes in Tigray.

Dear All,

In recent times, things are not overly rosy for the Christian population in Ethiopia. The recent massacre of innocent men and women, even children, particularly in the northern region of Tigray in Ethiopia was pathetic. Mr Aiby Ahmed, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, launched a military attack against the political party governing the Tigray region (TPLF) in response to the accusation that TPFL attacked the military camps of the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF). As per various international reports, there has been a massive presence of the Eritrean Defense forces in the region and carried out massive raids and brutal killing.

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Apart from the huge casualties reported, several Sunday School children were brutally killed in broad daylight. Many slain bodies were found scattered all over in and around the township of Edaga Hamus. Consequently, many families took shelter in Maryam Dengelat, a centuries-old monastery with a historical legacy. Scores of Christian pilgrims, in addition, came and joined these families on November 30. A group of Eritrean soldiers opened fire on Maryam Dengelat at a time when the people were taking part in the worship. People ran across here and there running for shelter. Soldiers followed them continually firing. Moreover, they went to houses after houses and dragged men and women out and shot at them. Even pregnant women were not perceived with compassion. This continued for 3 days. More than 100 were found dead in this operation.

Thousands of people have lost their lives since November 2020. Apart from the Maryam Dengelat Massacre, nearly 750 people were brutally slaughtered in the compound of the historic Our Lady Mary of Zion (Maryam Tsiyon Church) that is believed be the final resting place of the Ark of the Covenant. It was reported that the people were attempting to protect the Ark from the invading Eritrean forces.

According to OCHA (UN), the humanitarian situation in Tigray Region continues deteriorating by all means. We embrace this opportunity to vehemently condemn the atrocities committed against the residence of Tigray. We urge for an immediate end to the armed conflict in the Tigrian region and for dialogue between all parties involved in the conflict and request all international agencies to monitor the situation closely and take up an independent and objective inquiry of the war crimes committed in the region which shall be only possible with the full withdrawal of the Eritrean Defence Forces.

May God grant lasting peace in Tigray and the whole of Ethiopia. May peace prevail.

In Christ

George Joseph
Orthodoxy Cognate PAGE
(Pan-Orthodox Christian Society established under the Travancore-Cochin Literary, Scientific and Charitable Societies Registration Act, 1955. Registration No: A.455/2010).

OCP News Service