Over 30,000 children are reportedly separated from their parents in the Tigray region of Ethiopia.
Addis Maleda cited the region’s Women, Children and Youth Affairs office to report that the number of children becoming street children is growing fast. The office has said that more than 30,000 children separated from their parents due to the war.
The office reportedly said that the Children are demanding to be reunited with their parents. According to the report about 3,800 children were reunited with their parents. The office is cited as saying that evidence suggests that over 30,000 children are currently separated from their parents and facing problems. It is unspecified how the evidence is gathered and from what sources.
Last week, the region declared three days of mourning after informing parents and family members of the loss of their loved ones during the war. Those who were informed were parents of TPLF combatants who were killed in action. The TPLF was highly criticized for employing a “human wave” military strategy in its war against the Abiy Ahmed administration.
The region was at war for two years after the TPLF reportedly attacked the Northern Command of the Ethiopian Defense Force in November 2020 – an incident that triggered the bloody war which has claimed an estimated one million lives in Ethiopia. It came to an end with the signing of the Pretoria agreement in November 2022.
Dawit Getachew, Children service Inspection expert in the region’s Women, Children and Youth Affairs office , is cited as saying that in Mekelle alone as many as 15,000 children are separated from their parents and facing Malnutrition. It is indicated in the report that they are vulnerable to severe harm and death.
He added that an increasing number of children in major cities in the region are seen in streets. Some of them are said to have lost their parents during the war.
It is indicated that effort is underway to reunite those children who “want and can reunite with their parents” , and for those who can’t the office is searching what it called “alternative family” and reunite them.
Dawit also said that there are about 11 clusters organized to protect Children in times of danger but they are currently facing budgetary and other basic challenges to discharge their responsibilities properly.
There was no school in the region during the two years war. It was this year that students returned back to shcool.
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