The pictures on her phone are all that Ethiopian mother Habtam Akele has left of her three-year-old daughter Saba
Three-year-old Saba died from malnutrition in Ethiopia’s Amhara last month. Conflict in neighboring Amhara has spread to the region, forcing thousands to flee their homes – carrying with them stories of hunger and brutality. David Doyle has more.
Saba was just three years old when she died of malnutrition.
That was last month, as her mother tried to flee violence that has spread from Ethiopia’s Tigray into neighboring Amhara.
Pictures on her phone are all Habtam Akele has left of her daughter, having pleaded with doctors to save her child.
“They told me she was severely affected by malnutrition and they could not help. Then they gave me some syrup and tablets. She passed away exactly a week later on a Sunday.”
Saba is just one victim of the hunger and violence that has swept through northern Ethiopia since war broke out between the federal military and forces loyal to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front nearly a year ago.
In July, having taken back much of Tigray, the TPLF pushed into Amhara – whose forces have been fighting alongside federal troops
The Tigrayan advance sent around 250,000 people fleeing their homes, the United Nations says.
Habtam is among thousands who arrived in the town of Dessie, escaping bloodshed further north.
She says there was little food in areas under Tigrayan control and that Tigrayan forces took scarce medicine from local pharmacies.
Getachew Reda, spokesperson for the TPLF, denied Tigrayan forces had looted local pharmacies.
He said they’d set up a generator to alleviate water shortages in Habtam’s area.
Reuters was not able to independently verify Habtam’s account as her home is in an area off-limits to journalists and phone connections are down.
But people don’t just have hunger to fear.
At a camp in Dessie, Saada says she was raped.
That attack was carried out at her home by an armed man in plain clothes speaking the Tigrayan language, she says, in an area under Tigrayan control.
“After, he yelled at me ‘get dressed now!’. I was so afraid at this point that I was going to lose my life and quickly said ok. Then he grabbed his gun and left my house as I was getting dressed.”
She provided as evidence a card showing she had visited a hospital in Dessie for treatment.
When asked about the rape, the TPLF’s Getachew said any reported incident would be investigated and that the actions of one man should not implicate the Tigrayan forces in general.
Both sides in the conflict have accused the other of committing atrocities and each side denies allegations against them.
The TPLF says the Ethiopian military recently launched an offensive to dislodge the Tigrayans from Amhara.
The military and government have not answered calls seeking information.
But diplomats are worried the renewed fighting will further destabilize Ethiopia – and for Tigray and its surrounding areas, deepen the crisis of hunger and violence.
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Parents buying houses for their adult children
Rise in parents purchasing homes for adult children sparks concerns
A growing trend of parents buying houses for their adult children is causing a stir, raising questions about the potential downsides of such arrangements. While the gesture may seem benevolent, experts warn of the pitfalls associated with this practice.
Financial advisors express concerns about the impact on both generations’ financial independence. By providing ready-made homes, parents might inadvertently hinder their children’s ability to learn crucial financial lessons, such as budgeting, mortgage management, and property ownership responsibilities.
The trend also sparks debates on the long-term implications for the housing market. Critics argue that such parental interventions can distort property prices and exacerbate existing affordability challenges, particularly for younger individuals aspiring to enter the property market independently.
There’s a call for a broader societal discussion on the balance between parental support and fostering financial autonomy. While the intention is often rooted in care, the unintended consequences of sheltering adult children from financial realities are prompting a reassessment of this well-meaning practice.
Victoria’s Secret criticized for trans woman’s apology
Victoria’s Secret is facing backlash after issuing an apology to a transgender woman who had a negative experience while trying on bras at one of their stores.
The incident has ignited a debate about inclusivity and sensitivity in the fashion industry.
The controversy began when the trans woman, who remains anonymous, visited a Victoria’s Secret store to shop for bras. She reported feeling uncomfortable and discriminated against by store staff.
In response to her complaint, Victoria’s Secret issued an apology, acknowledging the incident and expressing their commitment to diversity and inclusion.
However, the apology itself has come under fire from both supporters and critics.
Some argue that the brand’s apology is insincere and merely an attempt to save face, while others believe it is a step in the right direction towards a more inclusive shopping experience for all customers.
The incident raises important questions about how brands should handle situations involving discrimination and whether their apologies are genuine or performative.
It also highlights the ongoing challenges faced by transgender individuals when accessing spaces traditionally designed for cisgender customers.
As the fashion industry continues to evolve, many are calling for a deeper examination of inclusivity and sensitivity, not just in policies but in practice.
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