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Ethiopia: Armed Conflict

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN HL11641, tabled on 30 December 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of (1) conflict in Tigray, (2) the actions of combatants in that region against historic places of Christian and Muslim worship, (3) reports of the arrest of leading clerics including the Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, and (4) reports of the disappearance of Bishop Mehdin, priests, and followers from the Eparchy of Adigrat.

Answered on

14 January 2021

It is clear that the conflict in Tigray has had significant consequences for many tens of thousands of people, displacing them internally and externally, and adversely impacting those that were already in need of humanitarian assistance. We are saddened by reports that some places of worship may have been damaged in the conflict. Access to much of the region remains constrained, and reports difficult to verify.

We are aware of no reporting to suggest that Patriarch Abune has been detained, and this issue has not been raised with our Embassy in Addis Ababa by our friends at the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. Our Embassy in Addis Ababa have received indications that Bishop Mehdin is well and at liberty, and are attempting to contact him directly.