Colorado Ethiopians ‘Screaming At The Top Of Our Lungs’ To End Violence In Tigray

War broke out in Ethiopia four months ago. Government troops have been fighting with forces in the state of Tigray, which is located in northern Ethiopia.

Video Transcript

DOMINIC GARCIA: Ethiopia is facing a humanitarian crisis. For the last four months government troops have been fighting with forces in the state of Tigray. Here in the northern part of the country-- right up here-- hundreds have died and thousands have lost their homes. And as Dominic Garcia shows us, hearts are breaking in the Ethiopian community right here in Colorado.

- Two, four, six, eight. Stop the violence.

- Stop the hate.

DOMINIC GARCIA: This is the eighth time that protesters have taken to the streets in Denver raising awareness about what's happening in Ethiopia.

MILLETE BIRHANEMASKEL: And we've been just screaming at the top of our lungs to try and get the world to respond.

- Silence is violence.

- Silence is violence.

DOMINIC GARCIA: They want the world to respond to the humanitarian crisis in their home country. Since November, the Ethiopian National Defense Force has been fighting the Tigray People's Liberation Front in the northern state.

MILLETE BIRHANEMASKEL: I'm from that area, and I've got family there who were really uncertain about where they're at and what their situation is.

DOMINIC GARCIA: Millete Birhanemaskel is a real estate agent and owns a neighborhood coffee shop in Denver, but she spends every spare minute trying to find out what's happening in Tigray.

MILLETE BIRHANEMASKEL: The only thing I know for sure is my mom's aunt was killed.

DOMINIC GARCIA: Devastating news, some of the little information Millete has been able to gather. Internet and phone services are cut in the area, and journalists have been kicked out. Millete was so frustrated she went to Sudan where 63,000 Tigrayans are seeking refuge.

MILLETE BIRHANEMASKEL: To go back and those camps to be full again with people who are fleeing for their lives, some people who left their children behind, children who saw their parents killed, it's horrifying. It's horrifying.

DOMINIC GARCIA: The conditions in the camps are minimal at best, but these people traveled hundreds of miles to escape the fighting. Many carry the scars of war.

MILLETE BIRHANEMASKEL: We know that refugees that are going into Sudan are coming in worse and worse condition, more and more emaciated, more horror stories of rape and killings.

DOMINIC GARCIA: World aid organizations are being stopped from getting food into the area, and human rights groups are calling it a crisis, a crisis that strikes the hearts of 50,000 Ethiopians living in Colorado.

MILLETE BIRHANEMASKEL: War is thousands of miles away from us, but I feel like every Tigrayan is in the middle of this war.

- Stop the genocide.

DOMINIC GARCIA: Millete and the protesters want Coloradans to get informed, advocate for a special US envoy, and ask the state's congressional delegation to support sanctions against the Ethiopian government.

I'm Dominic Garcia covering Colorado first.

- Well Denver does have a sister city in Tigray, Axum. In fact, you may be familiar with Axum Park. Amnesty International reports that Axum was one of the sites of the worst massacres. Hundreds of people were systematically killed in November of last.