Ethiopian diaspora torn by ethnic tensions in Tigray war

the latest tech news, global tech news daily, tech news today, startups, usa tech, asia tech, china tech, eu tech, global tech, in-depth electronics reviews, 24h tech news, 24h tech news, top mobile apps, tech news daily, gaming hardware, big tech news, useful technology tips, expert interviews, reporting on the business of technology, venture capital funding, programing language

Thousands of miles away from the war in Ethiopia, the ethnic cracks have started to show in an Ethiopian church in Ohio, in a lawsuit between trustees and clergy.

The original trustees of the Holy Trinity Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church in Columbus have accused its clergy of switching the language of services from Amharic, the national language of Ethiopia, to Tigrinya, the language of the Tigray region. They say the clergy is taking sides in a war between Tigray leaders and the Amhara, allied with the Ethiopian government, with an estimated tens of thousands of dead.

the latest tech news, global tech news daily, tech news today, startups, usa tech, asia tech, china tech, eu tech, global tech, in-depth electronics reviews, 24h tech news, 24h tech news, top mobile apps, tech news daily, gaming hardware, big tech news, useful technology tips, expert interviews, reporting on the business of technology, venture capital funding, programing language

The clergy in the church in Columbus, which is home to about 40,000 Ethiopian-Americans, says Tigrinya was added on as a language rather than replacing Amharic to better reach the congregation. Church leaders say the changes weren’t political in nature.

The tensions in the church reflect how the war in Ethiopia has fueled divides across the more than 3 million members of the diaspora.

Global Tech News Daily

“The Ethiopian social fabric … has been torn apart,” said Tewodros Tirfe, chairman of the Amhara Association of America, based in North Carolina.

The war started a little over a year ago, when a political dispute between Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and the Tigray leaders erupted into violence after a dispute over elections. It has now spiraled to the point where some Tigrayans are starving under a government blockade and atrocities have been reported on all sides, with the worst and most to date reported against Tigrayan civilians.

Global Tech News Daily

The conflict entered a new phase in late December when the Tigray forces withdrew into the Tigray region after approaching the capital, Addis Ababa, but are being pushed back by a drone-supported military offensive.

Deep disagreements about the nature and even the facts of the conflict are splintering families, friends and communities in the diaspora. Some consider themselves supporters of Tigray or of its political leaders, who belong to a party called the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front, or TPLF. They argue that Tigrayans are being threatened with genocide — profiled, persecuted and killed for their ethnicity.

Saba Desta, who works in health insurance in New York, worries that ordinary people are being forgotten. Desta said she’s tried to get her parents out of the northern city of Shire in Tigray, but her father is ill and unable to leave without a nurse’s assistance.

“It’s been breaking me, reading the reports of closing of hospitals and health centers, the restricted access to medicine,” she said. “I can only believe that he’s OK, that he’s alive. I only have this hope to bank on.”

Desta said five of her cousins, all brothers, were shot to death in front of their elderly mother by the military from neighboring Eritrea, which has been in Tigray alongside Ethiopian soldiers. Their mother died shortly after “from heartbreak,” she said.

“I’m so numb,” she said. “I can’t even cry anymore.”

Other Ethiopians see this as a necessary war against Tigray leaders, who once ruled Ethiopia and were accused of human rights abuses while growing the country’s economy.

The former ruling coalition, dominated by Tigray leaders representing 6% of the nation, appointed Abiy as prime minister in 2018, a choice largely celebrated by Ethiopians across the globe as a step towards peace and unity. Abiy transformed the federal coalition into a single Prosperity Party, and Tigrayan leaders later withdrew. Many Ethiopians feel that Tigray leaders are angry because Abiy leads with more than Tigray’s interests in mind as he seeks to centralize power.

“I had been there since they were established and I had seen their plans when I was very young, and that never changed,” said Teferi Zemene, a Toronto-based union organizer who grew up watching the TPLF rise to power three decades ago.

Zemene returned to Canada recently after 2½ months in Ethiopia. He visited his hometown of Dabat, about 75 kilometers (45 miles) from the northern Amhara city of Gondar, and asserted that it was destroyed by Tigray forces.

“If you see Dabat now, you would cry. They devastated the place. There’s no place to even rest,” he said.

Zemene said he lost relatives in the war and that he felt “the need to fight.” He and other Ethiopians who oppose the Tigray forces have expressed concern that the international community and even foreign media are bent on promoting intervention by the U.S.

“We should be able to solve our problems ourselves,” he said. “We didn’t ask for any help.”

The complexity of the war has made some rethink their position on it. Ethiopian-American journalist and activist Hermela Aregawi advocated for humanitarian work to help Tigray in the early days, but eventually distanced herself from those fundraising efforts when she felt they became politically motivated in favor of Tigrayan leaders.

“I’m Tigrayan, I care about Tigrayans, I care about Ethiopians as a whole,” Aregawi said.

Negasi Beyene, a biostatistician and human rights activist in Washington, feels similarly. “My motto is, ‘humanity before ethnicity,’” he said.

Growing up in Mekele, the capital of Tigray, during an earlier war, Beyene felt pressured to choose between the TPLF and other political groups when he was just 17 years old and kids his age were either killed or recruited to fight. He ultimately sided against the TPLF, and holds what he considers a minority view among Tigrayans that they started the current war.

“My sister, brother, I don’t talk to them,” he said. “Because they think TPLF is doing good … Maybe the TPLF idea – if you’re not with us, you’re against us – has penetrated all of society.”

A year into the war, there’s no clear end in sight. Some support the independence of Tigray, while others don’t want to see Ethiopia torn apart.

Adem Kassie Abebe, a program officer at the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance in the Netherlands, said that for each side, the anger and longtime grievances are real.

“Saying ‘I understand you’re angry,’ that would go a long way (for) both sides,” he said. “That opens a channel.”

Tirfe of the Amhara Association of America blames the war on a federalist governing system that ties the country’s dozens of ethnicities to land and power, pitting them against each other. So long as Ethiopia has this system, he said, “there will be another war.”

What he and others note, though, is that more Ethiopians are now determined to be heard.

“It’s good to see so many Ethiopians actively involved,” he said. “We’re not coming (together) as one, but hopefully one day. We’ll be a force.”

News Related


New York Rangers get another comeback win to force Game 7 vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

PITTSBURGH — How many times can the New York Rangers dig themselves into a hole and climb back out? At least one more, as of Friday night. The Blueshirts came ... Read more »

Wilson, balanced Aces cruise to 96-73 victory over Dream

COLLEGE PARK, Ga. (AP) — A’ja Wilson scored 15 points, Kelsey Plum had 14 points and 11 assists and the Las Vegas Aces rolled to a 96-73 victory over the ... Read more »

EXPLAINER: Why frustration lingers in Okinawa 50 years later

The Associated PressFILE – U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Mike Anglen of Turner, Ore., center, stands atop a cliff as Sgt. Bryan Wallace of Pikin, Ill., waits for his turn before ... Read more »

Astros beat Nationals 6-1 for 11th straight victory

WASHINGTON (AP) — Jose Altuve homered on the first pitch of the game, Yordan Alvarez and Yuli Gurriel also went deep and the Houston Astros extended their winning streak to ... Read more »

Kreider scores late, Rangers edge Pens 5-3 to force Game 7

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Chris Kreider’s long slap shot bounced over Louis Domingue and into the net with 1:28 left and the New York Rangers beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-3 on ... Read more »

Astros push winning streak to 11, roll past Nationals 6-1

WASHINGTON (AP) — Jose Altuve homered on the first pitch of the game, and Yordan Alvarez and Yuli Gurriel also went deep to help the Houston Astros extend their winning ... Read more »

Moustakas, Drury power Reds to 8-2 victory over Pirates

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Mike Moustakas homered twice and Brandon Drury drove in four runs to break out of a slump and lead the resurgent Cincinnati Reds to an 8-2 victory ... Read more »

Peterson's bases-loaded walk lifts Brewers over Marlins 2-1

MIAMI (AP) — Jace Peterson walked against Anthony Bender with the bases loaded in the ninth inning and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Miami Marlins 2-1 Friday night. After starters ... Read more »

Padres: No cancer found during manager Bob Melvin's prostate surgery

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The San Diego Padres say no cancer was found when manager Bob Melvin had prostate surgery on Wednesday. Melvin, 60, was recovering at home Friday after ... Read more »

Ogunbowale, Gray help Wings rally past Mystics, 94-86

WASHINGTON (AP) — Arike Ogunbowale scored 27 points, Allisha Gray had 21 and the Dallas Wings overcame a 15-point second-quarter deficit to beat the Washington Mystics 94-86 on Friday night. ... Read more »

Resigning North Dakota senator led lawmakers in travel costs

The Associated PressFILE – North Dakota Sen. Ray Holmberg listens during a joint House and Senate Appropriations Committee meeting at the Capitol in Bismarck, N.D., on Jan. 7, 2009. Holmberg, ... Read more »

Residents in picturesque California county hit with gas prices topping $7 a gallon

A California county known for its spectacular mountains and proximity to Yosemite National Park has been paying the nation’s highest gas prices. Read more »

Boudreau to return as coach of Canucks next season

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Bruce Boudreau will return as coach of the Vancouver Canucks next season after helping to turn the struggling NHL club around as a midyear replacement. ... Read more »

New Zealand leader Jacinda Ardern tests positive for COVID

On Location: May 13, 2022 Catch up on the developing stories making headlines.The Associated Press WELLINGTON, New Zealand — New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has tested positive for COVID-19 ... Read more »

Today in History for May 14th

Highlights of this day in history: Colonists go ashore in Virginia to set up Jamestown; Lewis and Clark begin to explore Louisiana Territory; Israel founded; Skylab launched; Movie producer George ... Read more »

Twitter CEO expects Elon Musk acquisition to close, addresses spending cuts

Musk is awaiting details supporting calculations that spam, fake accounts represent less than 5% of Twitter's users Read more »

Padres: No cancer found during Bob Melvin's prostate surgery

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The San Diego Padres say no cancer was found when manager Bob Melvin had prostate surgery on Wednesday. Melvin, 60, was recovering at home Friday after ... Read more »

Renovated NYC museum shows indigenous perspectives

The American Museum of Natural History in New York City recently finished a major renovation of its exhibition on the native peoples of the northwest coast of North America. Curators ... Read more »

Police release 911 calls in Gilgo Beach case

A woman who disappeared in a beach community on New York’s Long Island more than a decade ago, sparking an investigation into a possible serial killer, said “there’s somebody after ... Read more »

Academy Awards set 2023 Oscars for March 12

The Associated PressFILE – Oscar statue on the red carpet at the Oscars on Sunday, March 27, 2022, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Next year’s Academy Awards will ... Read more »

Actor Fred Ward, of 'Tremors,' 'The Right Stuff' fame, dies

The Associated PressFILE – Fred Ward, a cast member in “30 Minutes or Less,” poses at the premiere of the film in Los Angeles on Aug. 8, 2011. Ward, a ... Read more »

Judge refuses to drop elections suit against Trump, media

NEW YORK — A Colorado judge on Friday denied motions to dismiss a defamation lawsuit filed by an election systems worker against former President Donald Trump’s campaign, two of its ... Read more »

Q&A: Becky G unveils every side of herself in latest album

The Associated PressFILE – Becky G appears at the Oscars in Los Angeles on March 27, 2022. Beck G’s latest album is “Esquemas.” (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File) NEW YORK ... Read more »

North Korea reports 21 new deaths as it battles COVID-19 outbreak

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea reports 21 new deaths as it battles COVID-19 outbreak. Read more »

North Korea confirms 21 new deaths as it battles COVID-19

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea says 21 people died and 174,440 people were newly found with fever symptoms on Friday alone as the country scrambles to slow the spread ... Read more »

White Sox place Giolito on COVID list, activate Vaughn

The Chicago White Sox placed ace Lucas Giolito on the COVID-19 injured list and activated outfielder Andrew Vaughn following a rehab assignment with Triple-A Charlotte on Friday. Giolito began experiencing ... Read more »

Traded back and forth, Ford learns to live out of suitcase

NEW YORK (AP) — Mike Ford has learned to travel light — and quickly. Since the start of the season, the 29-year-old first baseman has played for Tacoma, San Francisco ... Read more »

Falcon 9 rocket launches Starlink satellites

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched 53 Starlink satellites to low-Earth orbit from California on Friday. (May 13) Read more »

Celtics' Robert Williams remains out for Game 6 vs. Bucks

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Boston forward/center Robert Williams missed his third straight game with an injured left knee as the Celtics tried to keep their season alive Friday night in Game ... Read more »

Padres sign Robinson Canó, plan to use him off the bench

ATLANTA (AP) — The San Diego Padres have signed veteran second baseman Robinson Canó to a major league contract and plan to use him as a left-handed bat off the ... Read more »

WNBA star's Russia detention extended by 1 month

The lawyer for WNBA star Brittney Griner says her pre-trial detention in Russia has been extended by one month. Alexander Boykov told The Associated Press the relatively short extension indicated ... Read more »

Louisiana justices toss COVID-related charges against pastor

Hundreds of thousands of Americans fighting long-haul symptoms from COVID-19 Dr. David Putrino from Mount Sinai Health System and COVID long-hauler Joel Fram discuss the long-term effects of the disease.The ... Read more »

Sandy Hook lawsuits against Alex Jones on track to resume

The Associated PressFILE – This Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018, photo shows radio show host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones at Capitol Hill in Washington. The Sandy Hook families’ lawsuits against ... Read more »

Rockies' Bryant closer to return after cortisone shot

DENVER (AP) — Colorado Rockies outfielder Kris Bryant took swings in the cage Friday for the first time since he was sidelined with a sore back nearly three weeks ago ... Read more »

Mariners demote Jarred Kelenic to minors after poor start

NEW YORK (AP) — Rather than make his Citi Field debut against the team that traded him, Jarred Kelenic was demoted to Triple-A Tacoma by the Seattle Mariners on Friday ... Read more »

Biden: ASEAN partnership 'critical' in this moment

Looking to strengthen ties, President Joe Biden welcomes leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to Washington for the first time. “We’re launching a new era in U.S.-ASEAN relations,” ... Read more »

Phil Mickelson will not defend his title at next week's PGA Championship

Phil Mickelson caught lightning in a bottle last year at Kiawah Island, winning a major championship at 50 years of age. The fairways flooded, and the golf world stood and ... Read more »

Tennessee Titans' Malik Willis on Ryan Tannehill's mentorship comments: 'Everything is cool'

The Tennessee Titans didn’t take issue with Ryan Tannehill’s comments about mentoring third-round rookie Malik Willis. Willis and coach Mike Vrabel were asked about Tannehill’s scrutinized remarks following the first ... Read more »

Lawyers plan suit against Lufthansa over Jewish passengers

Lawyers for 26 passengers said Friday they told Lufthansa that they will sue the German airline for refusing to let members of a large group of Orthodox Jewish passengers board ... Read more »

Wild face offseason after yet another early ouster

While the Minnesota Wild were stacking up franchise records and securing the extra home game for the first round, general manager Bill Guerin carefully acknowledged a “great year” for the ... Read more »