Met with foreign ministers of Angola, Egypt, and Gambia at the #AUsummit; discussed risks posed by #COVID19 on the achievement of #Agenda2030 & #Agenda2063; vaccine equity; priorities for #COP27 and #GreenRecovery in Africa. pic.twitter.com/83TXi3bx26
— Amina J Mohammed (@AminaJMohammed) February 7, 2022
Throughout the day, she saw how hospitals, markets, schools and farms have been destroyed by conflict over the last 15 months, and saw for herself the hardship being faced by local people as a result.
She met with a group of students from a high school in Kombolcha, badly damaged during the fighting. Until very recently, the school, established 45 years ago, was considered one of the best in the country.
But then war came.
Speaking to Ms. Mohammed, a student leader recalled how devastated they were when they found out their classrooms had become the latest casualty of the conflict.
“The high school has produced a lot of people who have made remarkable contributions to the country and earned respect from Ethiopians. Members of the community contributed from their meagre income, to add more facilities to the school, so that we get quality education”, the student recalled.
Now, she said, none of them can make any contribution to rebuilding and furnishing new study areas, as they are struggling to make ends meet.
“We need your support to rebuild our school”, she said.
The Deputy Secretary-General then left Amhara for Tigray, where the clashes first erupted between federal Government troops and forces loyal to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).
She discussed options for a peaceful resolution to the fighting, with the regional President, and the benefits that would present to all Ethiopians, and also visited Ayder Hospital.
The health centre, located in the capital of the region, Mekelle, is supported by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), the sexual and reproductive health agency, and provides holistic support for rape survivors.
“This is an experience, to see the whole of the psychological effects and physical effects of rape on women – the care”, Ms. Mohammed said.
For her, the most heart-breaking part of the visit were the individual stories of survival.
“Those stories need to be told. We need to know that in conflict, there are no winners. In fact, those that this falls most on, are women and children”, she said.