Reports: Ancient Monastery in Ethiopia ‘Bombed and Looted’ Amid Conflict in the Country

Debre Damo church Debre Damo, a flat-topped mountain in northern Ethiopia, is one of the country’s most important centres of Christianity. This small, modern church is built in front of the grotto where Aragawi – one of the nine saints, or missionaries, who brought Christianity to Ethiopia – is said to have vanished. Saints were often attributed with disappearance, rather than death. The skeletal remains of monks, protruding from shrouds, can be seen in alcoves in the grotto walls. (The Guardian)

Ethiopia’s most famous monastery has been bombed and looted of its ancient treasures according to reports emerging from the north of the country where fighting has left tens of thousands of people at risk of starvation.

Aid organisations warned they are “preparing for the worst” after four months of conflict between state forces and regional fighters in Tigray that has killed thousands amid reports of multiple massacres. Authorities in the capital have confirmed the rapes of scores of women and girls.

International experts have also raised the alarm over reports of “cultural cleansing” in the heritage-rich region with thefts and destruction of centuries-old artefacts at historically significant sites.

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SOURCE: The Times, Jane Flanagan

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