June 2021

by Christian Leuner

Eritrean soldiers attack and injure Dr. Melaku Abriha


Dr. Melaku Abriah

Dr. Melaku Abriha MD

A few days ago, the only fully qualified Ethiopian gynecologist in the city of Mekelle and medical director of Hamlin’s Mekelle Fistula Hospital, Dr. Melaku Abriha and his wife were attacked and injured in his home by Eritrean soldiers

He is currently the only gynecologist in town who can operate on the serious injuries of Tigray women and girls who have been raped in large numbers by soldiers.

According to information from his family, the timely arrival of neighbors saved his life. It is reported that his injuries had to be treated surgically. The attacking soldiers are said to have asked him to leave the city of Mekelle. The big city with about 400,000 inhabitants and an additional 300,000 refugees would then be without gynecological care. As far as we know, Dr. Melaku refused to do so.

Hemlins's Fistula Hospital Mekelle

The operating room at Hamlin's Fistula Hospital Mekelle 2018
© Dr. Christian Leuner

There is great concern that this attack by members of the Eritrean army who are in Mekelle could be a systematic action against the doctors there to force them out of the city and the region.

Since November 2020, the people in the Ethiopian northern province of Tigray have been suffering from extreme hardship due to armed conflicts in the form of displacement, death, rape and starvation.

The development aid association Etiopia-Witten e. V. is now, as it has been for more than 10 years, in close contact with the doctors in Mekelle and is currently helping there with their donations in the supply of medicines and medical aids.

To stop attacks on doctors in Mekelle and all over Tigray as well as the attempt to push them away, we urge the German government and the public to stand up for their protection.

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