Ethiopian Community in Bay Area Agonize As Humanitarian Crisis, Civil War Largely Ignored

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People attend a demonstration to bring awareness to the mass ethnic cleansing of ethnic Amharas in the Gimby Zone in Western Wollege, Oromia Region in Ethiopia on June 30, 2022 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by J. Countess/Getty Images)

A violent civil war has raged in Ethiopia for nearly two years, claiming 500,000 lives and displacing millions. Despite the current ceasefire, humanitarian aid is struggling to reach those who need it, leaving millions more at risk of starvation. Watching from afar, the Bay Area community of Ethiopians are trying to raise awareness about the crisis abroad. But the divisions between ethnic groups in Ethiopia are also finding their way closer to home. We’ll discuss the situation abroad and here in the Bay Area with members of local Ethiopian activist groups.


Esayas Hailemariam, legal scholar; member and leader, Global Society Tigrayan Scholars

Hanna Tamrat, co-organizer, San Francisco Bay Area Amhara Ethiopians

Robael Gizachew, leader, Bay Area Oromo Youth Association

Laetitia Bader, Horn of Africa director, Human Rights Watch

Adey Hagos, founder, Cafe Romanat