Ukraine news reports of air attacks brings flashbacks of Mekelle bombings

Ethiopian jet attacks killed civilians in the city of Mekelle in November 2020 Source: Eritrean Press

Seeing the television news of air attacks on Ukraine brought back flashbacks in my mind of Mekelle under air attack from Ethiopia . Unfortunately this war has been intentionally hidden from the world by intention of Abiy Ahmed and Isaias Afwerki to conceal their evil intent upon the Tegaru and Irob people of Tigray. Although my experiences were small compared to those of many Tigrayans I will never forget them and they haunt me everyday.

I remember being in Ayder Hospital in the first days after the conflict started in November 2020 when we heard a jet overhead. A girl in the Surgery office began to scream relentlessly. She was instantly paralyzed with fear. Many ran out into the street to see. The jet moved to the North where we later learned it bombed the Business School campus of Mekelle University killing and injuring students at the cafeteria having lunch. Of course the Ethiopian government denied that it happened and that they only targeted military installations.

A short time later jets attacked the area around the airport known as Quiha, one of the oldest areas of city. One of many civilian victims was a teenage boy had a bomb fragment penetrate his chest and through the heart. He was dead on arrival. The father and mother had both been students at the Ayder Elementary School that was bombed by Eritrean jets on June 5, 1998 just across the street from where Ayder Hospital was built later. Now their son was a vicious reminder of that war and added a new inconsolable sorrow. For the people of Tigray war is a recurring nightmare that will not go away.

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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