Elementary and secondary schools started again in Mekelle but it seems that more students are yet to resume classes
The seat of Tigray regional state, Mekelle, is slowly returning to normalcy. Residents of the city are reportedly undertaking their business and seen in the streets in large numbers. Elementary and secondary schools are reportedly open.
Ethiopia’s state media, ENA, said on Tuesday that journalists from state media were deployed to the city to cover stories about return to regular activities of residents in the city.
Aster Yitbarek, the region’s provisional administration education office head, said that both private and public schools are opened in Mekelle.
She added that schools will start in the parts of the city where there are displaced people from different parts of the region, as reported by ENA.
Journalists spoke to students from Mekelle’s Felege Hiwot elementary school and Atse Yohannes secondary school. Students are cited as saying that they have resumed, according to the report, classes.
They also said that they were doing all they can to compensate for the time wasted. A video footage shared by Ethiopian News Agency ,state media, shows students in classrooms and school premises. But their classrooms do seem to be normal class size – especially in the context of Ethiopian schools. It may mean that many students are yet to resume classes.
“We all have to be ready for class and parents should send their children to school,” ENA cited students as saying.
School was closed during the course of what the Ethiopian government calls law enforcement operation against Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) which started the war in the region when it attacked the northern command of the Ethiopian Defense Force in unsuspecting circumstances in early November 2020.
It is unclear if the situation outside Mekelle is similar.
For over six months, the region was under state of emergency legislation which the regional administration is considering to end.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s administration established a provisional administration soon after the defeat of TPLF forces in December 2020.
However, there were security incidents in the region. Last month, Ethiopia’s State of Emergency Task Force disclosed that 20 members of the provisional administration were killed by TPLF insurgents, and 22 others were kidnapped.
Earlier this month, former Ethiopian Defense Chief of Staff and latter a businessman, General Tsadkan Gebretense, who is said to be in charge of TPLF guerrilla movement after the death of Debretsion Gebremichal, claimed that they have recruited and trained tens of thousands of young people. And sounded that their “struggle is promising.”
The United States of America and its European allies have been putting pressure on Ethiopian government to end the war and resort to political settlement.
However, the Ethiopian parliament designated TPLF ( and Oromo Liberation Front -Shane) as a terrorist organization. And the demand by the US for political settlement and negotiation with TPLF is seen by many as intervention in the internal affairs of Ethiopia.