Multifaith community alliance saves hospital in Mekelle, Tigray

drone view of Ayder Comprehensive Specialized Hospital
Shows Ayder Hospital and the streets lining it where a brave protest occurred

How a community of different faiths  and ethnicities came together to save their hospital, Ayder Comprehensive Specialized Hospital, in the city of Mekelle, Tigray region of Ethiopia in the face of a horrific invasion by Ethiopian National Defense and Eritrean forces.  In the previous post I described the culmination of events that deterred the ransacking. Here I will tell the story of how it began.
I have gathered some more information on how the heroic unarmed resistance began to stop pilfering and ransacking of Ayder Comprehensive Specialized Hospital in Mekelle from the occupying Ethiopian National Defense Forces and Eritreans.

The Adishmdhun mosque where the muazzin made a call to action

Among the first to call citizens to action was the muazzin of the Adishmdhun Mosque. Although there was no electricity in the city using the mosque generator and microphone he called people to guard the hospital. The message was ” to all residents of Mekelle be Muslim, Christian, males or females : Ayder is being looted, so go and protect your hospital “. Immediately the people began to make the gatherings. There was was a group of motorcycle men who tended to gather at a pub just a few blocks from the hospital who began calling the same thing using a speaker. Youth groups and community elders answered the call. The demonstration and blocking of the roads was done with people of all faiths and different ethnicities.

The Nejashi mosque in Tigray was bombed and looted

The Muslim community would later hear about the desecration of the Nejashi mosque in Tigray by ENDF and Eritrean forces. This mosque is particularly significant as it was founded by the first followers of the Prophet Mohammed (Peace be upon him) who were given refuge in Ethiopia from the pagan Saudi rulers.

Throughout the occupation young men volunteered to patrol the streets around the hospital in defiance of the night time curfew pronounced by the ENDF and the Eritreans. Unfortunately some were shot and killed on sight. How many we do not know yet. Sometimes the body was just taken away so that relatives do not know what happened to them.

Author: Professor Tony Magana

Professor Tony Magana is Head of the Department of Neurosurgery, School of Medicine, College of Health Sciences at Mekelle University in Mekelle, Ethiopia. He directs a neurosurgery residency and training program as well as neuroscience research.

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