What is Happening in Denver’s Sister City Axum, Ethiopia

An Ethiopian kid, who fled the conflict in the Tigray region in northern Ethiopia due to the clashes in the operation launched by the Federal Government Forces against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), is seen at Hamdayit area after reaching Kassala State, Sudan on December 14, 2020.
 Mahmoud Hjaj/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Today marks 82 Days of a government controlled blackout between Ethiopia and the rest of the world.

Denver has treasured Axum, Ethiopia as a Sister City for 25 years and we are heartbroken by the devestation happening in Axum and across the country.

We are so thankful that we have Chuck Kreiman as the Chair of our Axum Committee and the entire committee leading the initiative in Denver to promote awareness of these horiffic events as well as show support to the large Ethiopian community here in Denver who have been unable to reach friends and family members in the middle of a Global Pandemic.

Our Friends Chuck, Janet, Tsegaye, and Senaye had the opportunity to support this cause at the Colorado Capitol and made this statement:

“Marchers attended the protest and represented regions of Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Sudan as displayed by their flags.

Statement of Charles Kreiman, Colorado State Capitol, January 28, 2021

I am pleased to be here to speak out about what is happening in Axum and Tigray. Many of you know that I am the Chair of the Denver-Axum Sister Cities Committee. But I realize that I must be careful when I speak about Axum and Tigray.I am after all, quite clearly an American, not an Ethiopian. I am a “Ferengi” as I was called many times. But I come to speak today as a person dedicated to peace; A person with love for Ethiopia that began more than 50 years ago, in 1968 when I started my training for Peace Corps service. But I am compelled to join you here today as a caring person. Frankly, what I feel most is a deep sadness.

The more I learn of the death and human misery that is occurring in Axum and all over Tigray, the sadness comes in ever larger waves. In spite of, or perhaps because of this sadness, I decided I had to join you today to add my voice to those who say this must stop! The killing, the looting and destruction, the deliberate starvation, it must stop! I tell myself and urge you, to put aside any feeling of helplessness. Each of us must resolve to try to do what we can.I reach out to others to find ways to make our leaders aware of this tragedy and urge them to act now, to act decisively.

I will be sending a letter to Governor Polis, our Senators Bennet and Hickenlooper, Congresswoman DeGette and others. The letter urges them to condemn the atrocities, call for the end of armed conflict, and insist on immediate humanitarian assistance – food, water, and other essentials. All of you here can send letters too; and make phone calls as well. Today, it may seem hard to find rays of hope amid all of the sad news. But then I try to take the long view. I reflect as a student of history, of Ethiopian historyI realize that there have been good times and hard times over the millennia.

Today’s hard times can make it difficult to see the possibilities of good times ahead, But then I remind you, and remind myself, we must act today to help make the future we want to see become a reality.We must do what we can, day by day, step by step, to help make the future a better time for Axum, for Tigray, for Ethiopia, for all humanity. Thank you. Selam!

Please consider joining us on Saturday February 6th 2021 at 2pm MST for a Candlelight Vigil at this Zoom Link: us02web.zoom.us

If you would like to know more, please check out a few articles who have done a good job explaining what is going on.

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