Biden: “We have to end this uncivil war”

Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. has become this Wednesday the 46th president of U.S in a ceremony at the foot of the Capitol with hardly any public and a city of empty streets completely taken over by the military, the haunting mirror of the inheritance he has received. The Democrat has appealed for unity and reconciliation in a speech that has influenced the seriousness of the moment facing his country, haunted by multiple overlapping crises that culminated two weeks ago with the assault on Congress of the followers of Donald Trump. “We have to end this uncivil war,” he proclaimed during the ceremony, which also served to open a historical page with the inauguration of Kamala Harris, the first woman to hold the vice presidency of the country.

As Abraham Lincoln did when ordering during the civil war that the construction of the Capitol be completed, Biden has wanted to present his inauguration as an act of resilience of the North American experiment, which has lived in recent weeks its greatest challenge in many decades. “We have learned again that democracy is a precious and fragile commodity. But in this hour, my friends, democracy has prevailed“said the former senator and vice president of Barack Obama after reaching the peak of power after half a century of political career. At 78, Biden will become the oldest president to ever reach the White House, as well as the first Catholic to do so since John F. Kennedy.

The challenges he faces are monumental, as he himself acknowledged when he stated that “very few people in the history of our nation have encountered a time as difficult as ours.” It’s not just the pandemic or an economic recession that has left millions of Americans without jobs. There is an even more poisoned factor: millions of his fellow citizens who consider him an illegitimate president after having bought the lies of his predecessor about the nonexistent electoral fraud. “I know that talking about unity these days may sound like a silly fantasy. I know that the forces that divide us are deep and real,” said the Democrat. But “unity is the only way forward“Without it, he said, there can be no peace, no progress.

Veiled references to Trump

As he did during the campaign, Biden vowed to rule for all Americans and do what he could to heal the festering wounds of recent years. He spoke of lowering the temperature of political discourse, of stifling the screams and recovering the truth as one of the pillars of public debate. “Together we have to write a story of hope, not fear; unit, not division. Of light, not of darkness. “No one escaped that this play on words contained the implicit repudiation of Trump, whom he never mentioned by name. The Republican has not even known how to behave like an adult at the time of his He did not even attend the ceremony, where the Obamas, the Bushes and the Clintons were, in addition to the former vice president, Mike Pence.




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Joe Biden takeover

Atypical investiture

This was not, however, a typical ceremony. By more than Lady Gaga will sing the national anthem and Jennifer Lopez lend his voice to that other unofficial anthem of the American left, Woody Gurthie’s ‘This Land Is My Land’. As much as Harris was sworn in by supporting a hand on the bible that belonged to Thurgood Marshall, the civil rights giant and the first African-American to reach the Supreme Court. Or that Biden did the same with another who has belonged to his family for 128 years.

On the National Mall, once occupied by hundreds of thousands of Americans, this time there was nothing more than a sea of ​​flags to commemorate the 400,000 deaths left by the Covid-19. The public couldn’t even cheer for Biden on Pennsylvania Avenue, blocked by countless military checkpoints. The threats of the most radical Trumpism have not materialized, but they have managed to turn the great party of American democracy into a a decaffeinated show and for television consumption.

Biden is in a hurry to bury his legacy. A mission that began this Wednesday with a barrage of executive orders to demolish the scaffolding of its predecessor. The first they will reintegrate the US into the World Health Organization, will force the use of the mask on federal property and will grant moratoriums on evictions or payments of student debt.

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the insane Italian IGM commandos who spread terror with daggers and flamethrowers

Manuel P. VillatoroManuel P. Villatoro

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During the Big war, that of the static fronts and the impossibility of advancing a few steps towards enemy territory, not everything was to maintain the position until the muscles were numb from inaction and the freezing cold that prowled between the recesses of the trenches. A select few, rare exceptions within some contingents, trained for months for a task as daunting as it was insane: assembling units with the speed of lightning that sprang into enemy lines to spread chaos. In Italy, these shock groups were the arditi; young people armed with knives, guns, flamethrowers and a total disregard for the Grim Reaper. True knights of

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Covid-19: an epidemic revealing an ecological and societal crisis

Tribune. The year 2020 will have been marked by the first epidemic translation of the planetary ecological crisis. If we are not careful, other epidemics will follow because the same causes will produce the same effects. We know the impetus, namely the extremely rapid transmission of a coronavirus, a virus that has crossed the species barrier and whose emergence is linked, in particular, to human influence over natural spaces, to the loss of biodiversity and wildlife trade. The wildlife trade has increased fivefold over the past fifteen years, despite the warning from the 2002-2003 Sars epidemic in Asia.

Throughout the past twelve months, the Covid-19 has acted (and continues to act) like a huge black hole absorbing all the informational material to leave room in France only for the daily count of the number of deaths, places available in intensive care, hydroxychloroquine or vaccine. No more Hezbollah, conflicts in Yemen, Syria or Libya, refugee camps, migrants on their frail boats, global warming, Iranian nuclear power, pension reform, but a planetary reality engulfed in the gravitational field of the Covid-19. Until saturating our mental and spiritual universe. No more sport, no more culture, no more bistros, no more restaurants. Nothing else. That the confusion and the fear, the excitement and the shift in a terribly anxiety-provoking and indeterminate reality until the arrival of a vaccine.

No space for reflection and critical distance

As if the event we are experiencing had escaped our radar and our familiar reading grids, while bringing us closer to the planetary catastrophe so dear to “collapsologists”. Who could have imagined, at the start of 2020, the planetary runaway of which we were going to be the main dazed protagonists? Who could have guessed that entire territories would be confined, cities deserted, activities of all kinds interrupted, elections postponed, political and health officials, sick or confused, improvising, day after day, responses that are too often incoherent or inappropriate?

Read also “The coronavirus crisis is an ecological crisis”

Something seems to have gone wrong, there, suddenly, in this beautiful mechanism of globalized flows, free trade treaties and the international division of labor, mass tourism and travel. low cost. At the heart of an era already marked by so many localized upheavals, repeated crises, and other climatic, stock market, technological, media or political booms …

But with this first planetary ecological crisis, it is as if the runaway had shaken our little blue planet on a scale and with an intensity never seen before. From the runaway of continuous news channels to that of immune defenses (cytokine storm); from the proliferation of articles published in scientific journals around the Covid (up to 292 per day!) to the surge in public and private debt; the runaway political decision concerning the marketing of drugs (such as remdisivir, paid at a high price to the Gilead laboratory, and which will prove ineffective) or vaccines (such as Pfizer / BioNTech, first arrived on the market market) to the agitation of social networks around hydroxychloroquine or Raoult, everything seems to converge and accelerate to leave no space for reflection and critical distance.

Pauperization of our public health system

We have known since Paul Virilio or Hartmut Rosa (1) that our world is accelerating, from crisis to crisis, from rupture to rupture, from degradation to degradation. But with Covid-19, we have entered the era of global and planetary systemic phenomena, the immediacy and immediacy of real time, on a world scale, plunging us into a generalized state of emergency: emergency health, safety, economic, social and climatic. All it took was a virus for our planetary megamachine to jam, for growth to collapse, for stock market prices to panic, for poverty and precariousness to explode, for geopolitical balances to be profoundly altered and that we were discovering, what we didn’t want to know, the vulnerability of our world-system, and the fragility of our Western societies.

Read also Hartmut Rosa: “We are not living the utopia of deceleration”

What provisional lessons can we draw from this observation? First, there cannot be lasting solutions without calling into question the ideology of the “Zero stock and just-in-time”, of time management and piloting by the indicators which have largely fueled the life of our institutions (private or public) since the 1980s. With the health result, the impoverishment of our public health system, which has been defective in the face of the repeated attacks of the pandemic in its preventive and curative aspects.

«One Health»

However, in France, we continue to eliminate beds, while the health crisis has shown the importance of well-endowed staff and services! The second message is ecological and should make us reconsider our place among the living. Because we have to admit it, our system has never ceased to degrade living conditions on Earth, without regard for man as for animal, mineral or plant.

Care must become the object of a general policy and the principle of all future action. The approach «One Health», which considers human, animal and environmental health together is a step in the right direction. We cannot ignore our dependence on the Earth and the geophysical conditions of all existence. The lesson is valid for today and for tomorrow. If we were to forget it, once again, in too much of a hurry to close the Covid-19 parenthesis, then the pandemics of the future, associated with the loss of biodiversity and global warming, could be much more dramatic with an even greater impact. on our human societies.

(1) Speed ​​and Politics And of Paul Virilio Acceleration d’Hartmut Rosa.

Alain Coulombel is the author of Chronicle of a planetary runaway, to be published mid-January, at Libre & Solidaire. Eric Caumes is the author ofHealth emergency, Robert Laffont, 2020.

Alain Coulombel national spokesperson for EE-LV


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Eric Caumes professor of infectious and tropical diseases

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the insane saboteur paratroopers who terrified the Nazis in World War II

Manuel P. VillatoroManuel P. Villatoro

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The Second World War it was the cradle of new (and controversial) ways of making the opposite sweat. On the one hand, the British Army specialized in the use of command units, already exploited years before in our authentic fratricidal struggle, to cross the front and cause chaos. On the other hand, the Germans first, and the Americans later, bet intensely on the formation of airborne divisions capable of launching behind enemy lines and ending by surprise with defensive positions of those that infantry would take weeks to conquer.

The value of both was amply proven in operations such as those carried out by the SAS in Africa or by the mythical German “Fallchimjager” in the Eben-Emael fort.

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Countdown to close the ‘war’ of the ‘Mata Mua’ waged by Baroness Thyssen and Culture

January 31 is D-Day to resolve the entrenched conflict of ‘Mata Mua’, the valuable Gauguin painting that Carmen Cervera removed from her collection at the Thyssen museum and that the Ministry of Culture hopes to recover by reaching an agreement on the rental of the aristocrat collection. Lawyers for both parties are still negotiating, but José Manuel Rodríguez Uribes, the culture minister, advanced a four-week limit on Tuesday.

It is the umpteenth extension in the bloodless ‘war’ that had to be resolved before December 31. To achieve understanding there will be no “red lines”, according to Uribes, who analyzes “different scenarios.” “It is not the same as whether or not the ‘Mata Mua’ is in the collection,” admits the minister, who speaks of “a new assessment of the collection.”

The free loan of the Baroness’s paintings was signed in 2002 for ten years. At its conclusion there was no agreement on its continuity. Tita Cervera asks for compensation for transferring the 429 works in her collection that she values ​​at 1,000 million euros, a figure that the State leaves at 425 million. It has nothing to do with the collection that Spain bought from her husband in 1993, 800 works that cost 42,000 million pesetas.

The baroness claimed from Uribes’ predecessor, José Guirao, 8.3 million euros per year for the rental of the collection, leaving the ‘Mata Mua’ and two other works out of the agreement. Guirao offered him 7 million over 15 years, as long as the legendary ‘gauguin’ remained in the collection. “It is necessary to see how much the State can give,” says Uribes now, who emphasizes that with the pandemic, the situation is not that of 2019, when the agreement he hopes to achieve now was reached and that “could incorporate works of the 21st century” .

The baroness removed the jewel from her collection in June. He said that he does not intend to sell it, but he could, since he has the export license. At auction he would obtain between 80 and 100 million euros.

In the fifteenth extension of the assignment, in December 2019, the Baroness excluded three more works from the collection: ‘The Charing Cross Bridge’, by Monet; ‘Racehorses in a landscape’, by Degas, and ‘The Martha McKeen in Wellfleet’ by Hopper, all three today outside Spain. The baroness then said that she did not plan to “auction them”, but threatened to “sell some”, as she did with Constable’s ‘The lock’, which she sold in 2012 for 28 million, beset, she said, due to lack of liquidity.

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the horrible life inside a tank in World War II, according to its crews

Manuel P. VillatoroManuel P. Villatoro

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That morning in 1944, during World War II, he began with a smile to Lafayette G. Pool. After three years at the front, it was his last day in Europe. “You and your crew are heroes and I want you to return home to your mothers safe and sound,” Colonel Richardson explained. Instead of leading the attack, as he used to do, this American tank ace (with a dozen Panzers and more than two hundred destroyed vehicles) was dispatched to the flank of the formation. An apparently calm position.

But the cannon that the Germans had hidden in a nearby garage was not as courteous as their superior officer. “I saw the door lift up and looked directly at the nose of the howitzer”. The German gunner did not hesitate. He took aim and, when he had the enemy in the scope, he fired. The projectile sliced ​​through the wind with a loud crash. Without knocking before, he hit the tank of the veteran soldier. The huge number of enemies that the North American had killed up to that moment mattered little. With a single shot, the Germans blew up the turret of their beloved In the mood.

Pool survived, although he never forgot that image. He was luckier than the crews of the more than four thousand Sherman, the backbone of the American armored divisions, which were destroyed in the Second World War. Many of them, at the hands of the fearsome 88-millimeter anti-tank guns.

Sherman, the backbone of American armored divisions during World War II
Sherman, the backbone of American armored divisions during World War II

Douglas Ambridge, also the commander of one of these tanks, felt the same chills when he realized that he was being fired upon by the other American tanker nightmare: a “Tiger I”. He ordered his driver to hide behind a house, but not even that saved them. “The shot went through the five walls of the house, pierced our armor and hit the gasoline,” he wrote after the Second World War. He jumped out of the interior in a hurry before the flames took full advantage of the vehicle.

The bottom line is that the life of the tankers on both sides was much harder than Hollywood movies have led us to believe. In battle, his position was just as dangerous as that of other men. As happened to the anonymous soldiers who were ordered to take this or that cliff armed only with a rifle, a single enemy shot had the ability to take their lives.

The only difference is that if the infantry divisions got chills when they heard the clatter of the German MG-42 machine guns waves British Vickers, to the poor wretches who fought in the guts of the battle tanks in the Second World War it was generated by the rumbling of an anti-tank gun. And to survive the only solution was to become a small family with a relationship based on mutual trust. It was already confirmed by the Soviet driver Aleksandr Sacharow: “The crew are more closely united than the brothers.”

Claustrophobia and metal

This family consisted of five members who performed certain functions within the armored vehicle (although, during the first part of the war, the Russian crews were four men). In the German Panzer IVs, American Shermans and Soviet T-34 / 76s (the most popular in their respective armies) lived together in a claustrophobic space little larger than a room.

The usual thing inside tanks was that the conductor and the machine gunner (as well radio operator) will be in front, seated. It might seem comfortable, but during combat they had to always stay in that position if they didn’t want to bang their heads against the ceiling. To the left and right of the turret were the gunner and the charger. Behind stood the father of them all: the car commander, in charge of ensuring the well-being of his men and being alert. “We should always pay attention while scanning the battlefield in a positional war,” he explains in his memoirs. Otto Carius, the mythical “ace” of the Panzers.

Although the position of car commander was the one with the greatest responsibility, those who suffered the most were the drivers. One of them, Jack RollinsonHe was convinced that they were “the lowest in the social hierarchy.” In his words, they were the first to get up in the morning to set up the tank while the rest of their companions slept under a stretched canvas, from the top of the vehicle, like a tent. They were also the last to go to bed, for they had to check chains and engine, and the only ones who, during the journey, could hardly rest. Carius was of the same opinion: “His position required an additional dose of guts.”

“When a tanker received the effects of the perforation fully inside, sometimes the head would explode, leaving the entire compartment full of blood, meat and brains”

Although all were equal in the face of death. “When a tanker received the effects of the perforation fully inside, sometimes the head would explode, leaving the entire compartment full of blood, meat and brains,” explained, after the fight, Lieutenant Belton Cooper, from the maintenance battalion. .

Day to day outside the camp was not easy. During long journeys from one area to another, common actions such as relieve bladder O comer they became an adventure. The problem of going to the bathroom could be solved by a shell of a projectile (in the middle of combat you had to be careful if it was too hot), an infantry helmet or an empty can.

For recover energies They had specific rations, although, according to some fighters such as the German Hermann Heckardt, also “boring.” This sergeant loved going into battle, so he could enjoy the canned meat of the British. Nor was it strange that any compartment turned into a makeshift pantry. The worst thing was going weeks without going back to base. “At those moments we led the lives of beggars without being able to think of washing ourselves; even friends were unrecognizable under their beards, ”confirmed tanker Hans Becker.

Senses tested

The roughness of the combat was terrifying. According to the soldier J. W. Howes, there was one thing worse than hear enemy ammunition hitting the armor, “the traumatic experience of listening to the click of another radio go off”. This “added to the horror” of the fighting and meant that comrades with whom they had spent months in the camp had died. “If someone reported, for example, that ‘Able Three’ had been hit, everyone knew who they were and the faces of the fallen passed before our eyes for a few seconds.”

That was the only thing that could get them out of a kind of trance in which they were immersed because of the roar of the huge engine, the thunder of the guns when they were fired and, finally, the constant buzzing of headphones that were never removed to communicate internally with the rest of the crew.

He smell it was another of the senses that was put to the test inside those metal masses. To begin with, by the smell that emanated from the same companions, who only washed themselves in the showers of the camp or, if they had been foresight, with an extra bottle of water. The dirtiest was always the magazine, as it sweated more than its companions due to the effort of inserting the ammunition into the barrel.

Panzer IV, the most produced battle tank by the Third Reich in World War II
Panzer IV, the most produced battle tank by the Third Reich in World War II

Just as annoying was the pestilence that came from the chains after passing over the bodies of decomposing animals or human corpses. “That stinking mess was spinning in chains, while those of us who were inside struggled not to vomit,” said the tanker Ernie Cox in statements collected in “Tank men” by Robert Kershaw. Gasoline, burning oil and cordite gases completed this bitter symphony so common in World War II.

The sight also suffered. During the battle, the only one who had a true panoramic picture of the outside was the commander, who, although he could crouch to avoid a bullet, used to direct the combat with half the body out of the hatch. The Germans were the most daring in this regard. Otto Carius He always insisted to his subordinates that this dangerous habit allowed them to see the enemy a few vital seconds before. “Tank commanders who slam the hatch shut at the beginning of the attack and do not reopen it until the objective has been reached are of no use.”

“Tank commanders who slam the hatch at the beginning of the attack and do not reopen it until the objective has been reached are of no use”

The rest of the crew, however, had to strain their eyes to see what was happening around them, since they only had an opening the size of a mailbox. Of course, it was impossible to distinguish inside those metallic beasts.

A tough existence, indeed, but one that many soldiers like the tanker Bill Close they fondly recalled: “Looking back, I still see this time as one of the best moments of my life. It’s hard to put into words, but the friends I made during the war are still my friends. His conclusion, one that surprises, is that life inside a tank of the Second World War it was much more dangerous than we consider today.

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No fans, Corona! That was the wrestling year 2020 – wrestling

The wrestling year 2020 was marked by the global COVID-19 pandemic. Much of the year was without fans. We look back!

2020 started for us with an absolute highlight. “Today” was with WWE at NXT UK Takerober II in Blackpool, the Viennese WALTER won his title battle against Joe Coffey.

Then it went on with the Royal Rumble. Drew McIntyre paved his way to the WWE title with his win in the 30-Man Rumble, and Edge made his big comeback – it was the last big pop of the fans in the sold-out Minute Maid Park.

At the AEW the changing of the guard takes place in February at “Revolution”: Jon Moxley defeated Chris Jericho and has held the world title since then. Also in February the last Saudi event of the WWE rose – with the great excitement: Goldberg defeated the otherwise practically invincible Fiend and won the Universal title.

Then COVID-19 struck, from March there were no more fans, the WWE first moved to the Performance Center, AEW broadcast from Daily’s Place in Jacksonville – the show has to go on.

So we witnessed the first Wrestlemania without fans – WM36 rose on two days, had some highlights in store even without an audience. Edge made his comeback, defeating Randy Orton, and Drew McIntyre took the WWE title from Brock Lesnar. The Undertaker fought AJ Styles in a boneyard match – it would be the Deadman’s last fight.

The rest of the year was a bit of a ripple, but two feuds stood out. Randy Orton and Drew McIntyre fought each other until late November. Roman Reigns returned at Summerslam, and a little later took back “his” universal belt at Payback. Since then he has been driving his cousin Jey Uso crazy as “Head of the Table” and “Tribal Chief”.

At the Survivor Series the Undertaker announced his final farewell to the wrestling pension in the “Final Farewell”. At AEW, an absolute legend returned two weeks later – Sting will appear on All Elite in the future! That wasn’t the only surprise: Kenny Omega won the heavyweight title from the previously undefeated Jon Moxley!

With TLC, the WWE ended the year with a shock. Randy Orton burned Bray Wyatt in the Firefly Inferno Match. In addition, Drew McIntyre and Roman Reigns are going to be champions in 2021.

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Juan Luis Guerra launches his new work at Christmas

The Dominican artist Juan Luis Guerra released this Friday, Christmas Day, his new EP (extended play) entitled ‘Privé’, composed of five songs, on all digital platforms, and tonight it will offer a virtual meeting for the Dominican Republic through its official YouTube channel.

The connection will take place from 22:00 to 23:00 local time (02:00 to 03:00 GTM on Saturday), said the singer’s spokesman, Severo Rivera, in a press release.

The multi-award winning artist will perform with his band 4.40 the five songs of ‘Privé’, Guerra’s first musical release after his studio album ‘Literal’, awarded with the Latin Grammy in 2019. It includes two unreleased songs, including the new single ‘Pambiche de Novia’, as well as new versions of three of his greatest hits .

Composed, set to music and produced by Guerra under the co-production of Janina Rosado, the five songs included in the EP have a supreme orchestration and they cover different musical genres led by Guerra.

The interpreter starred in two videos promoting tourism in his country last November, thus adding to the Caribbean nation’s strategy to gradually recover the most important sector of its economy, collapsed this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Juan Luis Guerra is one of the maximum references of merengue and bachata Worldwide.

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No access for helpers to Tigray: EU freezes funds for Ethiopia

Brussels makes health and transport payments conditional on humanitarian progress in Tigray. Although the situation is getting worse.

It was not until December 12 that a first convoy of the International Red Cross (ICRC) reached Mekelle Foto: ICRC / ap

BERLIN taz | The EU suspends budget support for Ethiopia because of the conflict in the Tigray region. As the news agency AFP reports, citing an internal EU document, the 88.5 million euros due this year for the Ethiopian state budget will not be paid out for the time being. 60 million were intended for cross-border transport connections, 17.5 million for the health system.

A spokeswoman for the EU Commission confirmed to AFP that the payments could not be made due to the “current circumstances”. Conditions for their resumption are measures in Tigray: free humanitarian access, an end to ethnic discrimination, investigation of human rights violations and restoration of telecommunications.

An Ethiopian statement was initially not available. However, the spokesman for the Ethiopian government’s Tigray crisis team, Redwan Hussein, recently responded to similar demands by stating that Ethiopia “does not need babysitters”.

The EU decision follows the growing dispute over access to international aid organizations in Tigray. There, on November 4, the Ethiopian government overthrew the regional government of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), declared martial law and launched a military operation. After conquering the regional capital Mekelle on November 28, she declared the operation to have been successfully completed.

Tens of thousands of people on the run

The TPLF continues to fight, however, and independent reports speak of thousands of dead in both armies and civilians; around 50,000 people have fled to Sudan. There is also evidence that Eritrea’s army intervened against the TPLF.

There has been no independent access for foreign organizations to Tigray since martial law was imposed. Ethiopia’s government agreed with the UN on December 2 that humanitarian aid workers could freely enter Tigray, but it demanded that the government direct aid operations. The UN rejects that.

On December 6th, a UN team was shot at and arrested to check the condition of the roads outside the Eritrean refugee camp Shimelba in Tigray. On December 11, the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) confirmed the deaths of three employees in Tigray at an undisclosed point in November.

The US relief organization International Rescue Committee (IRC) also confirmed the death of an employee in the Eritrean refugee camp Hitsats. It has reportedly been the site of fighting involving the Eritrean army.

UN Security Council cannot agree on explanation

Two meetings of the UN Security Council on the situation remained inconclusive. At the last meeting on Monday, not even a joint declaration came about because China and the African council members Niger, South Africa and Tunisia blocked a move by Germany, Estonia and the Dominican Republic, referring to the “sensitivity” of the topic.

It was not until December 12 that the first convoy of the International Red Cross (ICRC), which basically works with governments, reached Mekelle. The seven trucks contained medical supplies for the city’s hospitals, which house over 400 war wounded.

According to the UN, the war has dramatically worsened the already poor supply situation in Tigray. The number of those in need among the estimated 10 million inhabitants has risen from 850,000 to just under two million.

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