Angel Olaran returns from the Tigray after more than 15 months

The missionary Angel Olaran returns from the Tigray after more than 15 months and will soon be with us to give us a personal account of what he has lived during this time and the next steps to continue supporting his social and humanitarian work in Wukro. Before that, he will spend a few days resting with his family.

Father Olaran left on October 20, 2021 for Ethiopia. Because of the Ethiopian war and the siege of the Tigray region, it was not until almost three months later that he was able to reach his final destination, Wukro. It was January 11, 2022.

It took more than 15 months for him to leave Tigray and arrive here (Spain). First he took a flight from Mekelle to Addis Ababa, spent a few weeks in the capital of Ethiopia, and finally, took another commercial flight to Madrid.

For many years, he has made this journey many times, but this time it is very different because of the situation that Tigray has lived in the last two years of conflict and government blockade of the region.  Recently, it has become known that 600.000 civilians died in two years of war in Ethiopia.

Three months have passed since the Pretoria Agreement (South Africa), the cease-fire agreement signed by the parties to the conflict to put an end to one of the bloodiest wars of the century in the world.

Last stay

The last time he was here was at the end of October 2020. Just a few days later, coinciding with his stay with us in Mollerussa, the Ethiopian Prime Minister and Nobel Peace Prize, Abiy Ahmed, declared war on the TPLF and began a military offensive. In his day, Angel Olaran writes about Operation “Law and Order” against Tigray.

On November 6, 2020, Angel Olaran wrote about the alarm of war in Ethiopia. It was his first article on what has become a humanitarian tragedy, and that, currently, the population of Tigray is still suffering.

A few months later, the Basque missionary was interviewed in the TV3 program Signes dels temps by Montserrat Esteve from the headquarters of our Foundation, Angel Olaran, affirmed that It was cheaper to feed a person than to kill him in a letter that he wrote with the desire to return to be with his people in Wukro, city in the African country that he was advised not to return to because of the conflict situation there; and also so that he could get money here to help them.

Returning to Tigray

The last publication of 2021, Angel Olaran returns to Ethiopia after almost a year away includes a complete video interview we did with Abba Melaku at the headquarters of our Foundation. We highly recommend you to watch it to remember the beginning of the conflict and how he lived it from the other side of the world.

In 2021, Ángel could not be at the ceremony of the awarding of the Reconeixements Ànima, which was held in another format -due to the Covid-19- at the Teatre L’Amistat in Mollerussa. We had Maider’s testimony about the Tigray war and the suffering of Wukro. That night, Miquel Pujol, board member of the Foundation, read Father Olaran’s message at the ceremony of the Ànima, an international award called Ànima Abba Melaku.

On October 20, 2021, he left for Ethiopia. Three months later, from our website we shared  The first images of the missionary Angel Olaran in Wukro. And he also shared his first three weeks in Wukro.

We have received many letters from Wukro and we have published them. The communication blockade in that area has made it very difficult for us to send you information about what was happening in Wukro, Tigray. The news was not good at all, on the contrary, “Every day that goes without receiving aid, it increases this human crime in Tigray”. A publication in which the missionary already warned that 500,000 civilians had died. In spite of the dramatic situation, Angel Olaran is already starting to make plans for the reconstruction of Wukro.

From our Foundation we continue to do our best to support the work of the missionary in Wukro and to inform about the facts that happen in Tigray. The blockade of Tigray is echoing around the world. The solidarity of the Tigrayan Hidat Hagos Tikue is shown with the celebration of a Solidarity event in California in favor of the work of Angel Olaran.

In September last year, Angel Olaran writes about the beginning of what could be the definitive military confrontation.

In November, in Mollerussa, we celebrate the VII Reconeixements Ànima and XIII Solidarity Evening Angel Olaran with the attendance of over 400 people, but the notable absence of the missionary who this time was unable to attend because he could not leave the country due to the blockade and siege of Tigray. For this reason, Angel Olaran compares Tigray with a concentration camp. In that week, when negotiations took place and the Pretoria Agreement (South Africa) was reached between the parties involved. The cease-fire is agreed and Angel Olaran writes after a peace agreement in the Ethiopian conflict.

Since then, Father Olaran has been providing us with information to publish on our web blog and you can also check it out if you wish.

His arrival to learn about what has happened and future direction

His arrival in our country will serve to have more information about what he has lived these months in which communication has been very difficult and complicated; also to know first hand the steps that will have to be taken to continue supporting his work, because as he told us “There are many families in need of microcredit to rebuild their lives”. In addition to the need to start projects to “support agriculture so that more families have access to irrigation and relieve the scarcity they have. This year’s harvest has barely covered their needs for two months and they have once again been added to the list of those in need of help”, as explained in his last letter Angel Olaran: “Confident, even in the absence of proof”.