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HomeEthiopian NewsUN concerned over heritage site Lalibela after Tigray rebels controlled it

UN concerned over heritage site Lalibela after Tigray rebels controlled it

“Lalibela is a place of pilgrimage, devotion and peace: it should not be a place for instigating violence and conflict,” says a statement from the UN body

Lalibela _ Ethiopia _ UN
Rock-Hewn Churches, Lalibela (Ethiopia) © Shutterstock / Vegetation7 ( Source : UNESCO)


Days after the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) took control of the historic Lalibela town, the UN  is expressing concern about UNESCO’s World Heritage Site. 

“UNESCO wishes to express its deep concern about the reports on the expansion of the conflict to the city of Lalibela (Ethiopia), which hosts the Rock-Hewn Churches,” said in a statement issued on Friday this week. 

Lalibela, a 12th century power centre from where King Lalibela ruled Ethiopia, has 12 rock hewn churches which UNESCO included in its list of World heritage in 1978. 

Tigray rebels targeted it as they took the war outside the region after the Federal government declared a unilateral humanitarian ceasefire at the end of June 2021. 

Eyewitnesses from the town said there was no fighting when the TPLF forces entered the town, as regional government forces and militia avoided military engagement. 

However, the latest reports from the region indicate that there is a fighting to dislodge the rebel forces from Ethiopia’s Jerusalem. 

Unclear if there is any damage to the heritage at this point. 

The UN agency said in its statement “UNESCO calls for the respect of all relevant obligations under international law in ensuring the protection of the Outstanding Universal Value and legacy of this precious site by refraining from any act that may expose it to damage, and by taking all necessary precautions to prevent any attempts of looting and pillaging cultural properties located in the area.” 

Furthermore, it said, “Lalibela is a place of pilgrimage, devotion and peace: it should not be a place for instigating violence and conflict.”

With what seems to be tacit support from the United States and the European Union, Tigray rebels forces are emboldened and vow to march to the capital Addis Ababa. 

Meanwhile, unconfirmed pictures circulating on social media shows captured Sudanese forces fighting alongside the Tigrean rebel forces. Yet, Sudan has  been offering to mediate the rebels and government, which the latter rejected on grounds that Sudan lacks credibility. 

Sudan occupied Ethiopian territories as the Ethiopian Defense Force was withdrawn from the area in November 2020 to respond to the war that TPLF triggered when it attacked several bases of the Northern Command Post. 

Sudan on Sunday disclosed that it recalled its Ambassador to Addis Ababa.

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  1. Why do you exaggerate what lifttle adventure the little tplf does all the time? Will you be around to help them when they will be routed and finished once and for all – you idiots1

  2. We condemn Terrorist TPLF (T-TPLF) groups for massacring innocent women, elders and Children in Afar and the International Community for once must show its responsibilities by holding Terrorist TPLF responsible for such atrocities!!!!!!!

    TPLF is the enemy of peace and innocent children and people!!!
    The International communities instead of silence and encouraging the rejected out of power, the T- TPLF ( ISIS of Ethiopia) should selectively pick and work with the Government that is ruling the country.
    Ethiopia will hold T-TPLF responsible for every atrocity committed against innocent Afars, Oromos, Somalis, Amharas and more. Ethiopians will remember forever what this T-TPLF, enemy of all Ethiopians has done to them.

    T-TPLF is also responsible for brainwashing, twisting minds and body and turning the Benishangul Gumez and OLF Oromos into savage fool criminals like an autoimmune disease that eats its own blood and flesh.
    Those people have turned into a robots for TPLF agenda at their own people and country expense. Terrorist TPLF is using billions of money looted for 27 years for murdering innocents and war by using such fools. What those fools do not know is, God forbid, if TPLF was to come back regardless of how great those fools did to serve T-TPLF they will be the first to Go or be killed for knowing T-TPLF criminal secrets.

    Right now desperate T- TPLF knowing full well that it has lost, it has resorted to inviting Surrendered Sudan soldiers and destroying developments in Woldia and threating to destroy more which is inviting people to go on revenge. Many people are entertaining the idea of destroying the Axum Obelisk and more if T- TPLF continues on that route. The best chance for T-TPLF is to accepts its loss and stops its this foolishness and get on with the reality by helping Tigrayans who are hurting. T-TPLF has no chance and NO Ethiopian wants to see them back!!!!!!!!!!! The Sovereign country of Ethiopia has ONLY one PM and only ONE government and that is it!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Correction:
    Many people are entertaining the idea of destroying TPLF monument erected in Mekele City not the Axum Obelisk if T-PLF continues on its destructive terrorist act. Although this is not encouraged and a bad idea TPLF is forcing people to think the unthinkable. Therefore lets not go with such bad ideas that will be much regrettable and not beneficial to anyone.
    Ethiopians have so much respect and cherish the work of the great ancient civilizations arts and heritage Ethiopia is so blessed with. Those greatly admirable work or arts were done by great people who promoted civilizations, peace, and developments instead of darkness, destructions, war and backwardness as the Terrorist TPLF who should have been born and died before the work of Axum Obelisk.


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