Written by Angel Olaran: “Ovation and return to arena”

From Wukro, Tigray, comes the letter written by Angel Olaran: “Ovation and return to the arena”. In this publication, the Basque missionary comments on the visit of the UN Secretary General, António Guterres, to the Ethiopian Prime Minister, but did not do the same with the Tigrinian government.

Abba Melaku explains that they have managed to transport from Mekelle 110 quintals of flour to Wukro and that, among other collectives, they were able to distribute, or eventually distribute this week, among the 489 orphans they serve.

Written by Angel Olaran

The new of the year:

This last few days, the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterrez, has visited the Ethiopian Prime Minister (PM), Abiy Ahmed, in Addis Ababa and has left Ethiopia, apparently without the necessity to visit the Tigray region or greeting the Tigrayan government, showing his pleasure and satisfaction at learning how the agreement of last November 2 in South Africa is evolving: 60% of the Tigrayan army has withdrawn from their position in the different fronts and has begun to hand over the heavy artillery. So far so good.

Small details on which, apparently, it has not been necessary to comment:

a) The non-presence in Tigray of the independent international commission to ensure the implementation of what was decided in South Africa, which should have been the body to visit.

b) The withdrawal of the Eritrean troops. They are, still present in several Ethiopian towns in the region of Tigray, where there is no war activity, but where they continue raping women, stealing crops and other household goods and disturbing the neighborhood.

c) Also still present in Tigray are Amhara troops: Fano and Special Forces which according to the agreement should have withdrawn to the borders prior to the beginning of the war – sorry – of “the military intervention to establish law and order in Tigray”, which was supposed to last no more than 4 days.

d) The massive arrival of humanitarian aid starting November 2: it seems that the parts of the Tigray region that the central government considers to be under its mandate are receiving aid: Shire, Aksum, Adwa, Alamata . . . despite the fact that the PM has expressed his agreement to consider Tigrayans as Ethiopians with their full rights.

e) Everything related to telecommunications must be following the same criteria: in these cities (mentioned above) there is coverage, although limited to 2G. And of course, the ordinary people are starting to say: “let them come to our cities, if it will mean they’ll get the right to services” – it would be wrong of us to think that the PM was expecting this reaction from the neighborhood against the Tigrayan government and, on the rebound, in his favor.

For its part, the federal government has allowed the entry of two Red Cross trucks with medicines for the whole of Tigray; this aid does not reach the public hospitals; some trucks must have entered with food, far from the 100, and way far from what was stipulated in South Africa.

These are small details that the Secretary General must not have considered relevant. The withdrawal of the Tigrayans from the fronts must have covered all his expectations, to which one can add that, in the South African talks, the Tigrayans did not consider their independence, nor did they mention any demand about the genocide. One wonders about the value of the letter that came out of the UN’s offices on 16-04-2021: “On sexual violence in Tigray, warning that it reaches a level of cruelty impossible to understand”. Well, yes, it has been possible to overcome that level of cruelty. So, isn’t the INDIFFERENCE by those in power, as cruel as the violence itself?

Possibly, the Secretary General will have commented on the little respected deal that the UN plane being the only means of getting in and out of Tigray, as well as of receiving some money in the local currency, receives from the federal government. One thing, possibly in favor of his visit, is that he was informed that Tigray is already connected to the Ethiopian power grid. In fact, last night, December 6, we were due for a blackout and with great surprise and pleasure we had light, as well as all night and even now, December 11, at 11.58 pm. We are beginning to believe that this first gift of electricity must have something to do with the Secretary General’s visit. Welcome Mr. Secretary General – Worthy of the standing ovation mentioned-.

From what we hear, the turn in international relations must have been passed to the USA. New threats to Addis Ababa if the “small” details mentioned are not taken into account already. We again have a week ahead of us to place bets on these new threats – some of us think, quietly, that being already connected to the power grid may be a guarantee that further steps will be taken soon.

We trust that the Secretary General, on behalf of the UN, has thanked the Ethiopian PM for the contribution made to his Institution’s budget in Tigray by the few residents in the country who can travel on his plane on the few approved trips between Addis Ababa to Mekelle. With Ethiopian Airlines, 2 years ago, before the beginning of the conflict, round-trip fare between Mekelle-Addis Ababa was around 8,000 birr. Today the fare with the UN is 40,000 birr. Mr. Secretary General will be aware of our immense joy in being able to support the budget of our first mother institution (the UN), echoing the former Secretary General Antonio Cuellar who, in order to keep all UN personnel working happily, carrying the weight of Humanity on their backs, considered it was only fair that they are the best paid employees in the world, avoiding temptations to seek better salaries.

For all this, and possibly something else that we do not know about, it is also justly deserved: “Ovation and return to the arena”.

In which hands we are in! To quote Orwel’s Animal Farm: “Some animals are more equal than others”.

My vital signs

BP 12-8; Pulse 60; Oxygen uptake 96%. Dr. Mahari also auscultated my heart, which continues to be at its best.

The kilos are no longer resisting me – they are increasing.

Distribution of the 200 quintals of flour

Yesterday we managed to transport the 200 quintals of flour from Mekelle to their various destinations: 110 to Wukro and 90 to Adigrat. We have not yet received the oil and cereal complement to the injera.

Half of the 110 quintals were distributed this morning, the 9th, among the orphans we serve in the city, at a rate of 15 kg per person. The diet of the senior’s dining room has also been improved, and 50 kg has been distributed to each employee of the house and those WSDP (Wukro Social Development Program) employees.

On the 14th and 15th, we will continue with the rest of the orphans living in the rural part. We serve 489 orphans.

A big hug,


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