Source: The Art Newspaper
August 9, 2021
Historic town, a holy site for millions of Orthodox Christians, caught up in widening Tigray conflict.
Forces from Ethiopia’s Tigray region have taken control of Lalibela, a Unesco World Heritage Site known for its churches carved out of rock in the 12th and 13th centuries. The seizure of Lalibela is the latest development in a bloody nine-month battle for the north Ethiopian state of Tigray, which borders Eritrea and Sudan. The conflict has killed thousands and displaced more than 1.7 million people who are now at risk of starvation.
Lalibela, located in the North Wollo Zone of the Amhara region in the north of the country, is a holy site for millions of [Ethiopian] Christians. The deputy mayor of Lalibela, Mandefro Tadesse, told the BBC that the town was under the control of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), residents were fleeing and he was concerned about the safety of the historic churches.
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