Tigray forces ceased Lalibela town in Amhara region, a UNESCO World Heritage site

9 months ago 3355

Tigray forces ceased thurday Lalibela in Amhara region known for its rock-hewn cathedrals and a UNESCO World Heritage site.

This comes a day after aid supplies, including food, non-food items and fuel reached Ethiopia's embattled Tigray region

It is estimated that thousands of fighters entered Lalibela, known as 'the second Jerusalem', causing many people to flee for their lives.

The small town is home to 11 monolithic churches carved entirely from rock dating from around the 11th and 12th centuries.

Over time, the churches have succumbed to the elements and restoration projects have been required to protect them.

Now the presence of Tigray forces has startled those in the region.

While they entered peacefully, a resident said they were scared and worried about damage to the ancient structures.

The nine-month war has killed thousands of civilians and is now spilling into other regions of Ethiopia, Africa’s second most populous country and the anchor of the often-volatile Horn of Africa.

Though Tigray forces in June reclaimed much of the region as Ethiopian and allied forces retreated, western Tigray is still controlled by authorities from Ethiopia’s neighboring Amhara region, who have cleared out many ethnic Tigrayans while saying the land is historically theirs.

With the Tigray forces pushing south after threatening to go as far as the capital if needed, the U.N. humanitarian chief and the USAID administrator in visits to Ethiopia this week urged a cease-fire and talks.

Sudan has offered to play a role in mediation and could also be a direct aid corridor to Tigray.

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