University staff in Ethiopia’s war-torn Tigray region are in despair after living without a salary for over a year.
War broke out in the northern region in November 2020 and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) fighters advanced towards the capital, Addis Ababa, before being pushed back by government and allied forces.
More than 7,000 staff at Mekelle University have not received a single pay cheque since the fighting started, a staff at the medical school told the BBC.
They walk to work as there is no fuel, and some have been collapsing while on duty, staff said.
”Although we are a federal institute, the federal government failed to send us the budget money,”
the staff member said, adding that their children were getting malnourished.
An official at the ministry of education told the BBC that staff at the university will have to wait for the government to release funds meant for all federal institutions in Tigray region.
”University staff who fled the region are receiving their salaries and have been posted to other universities. But for those still in Tigray we can do nothing,”
Samuel Kifle told the BBC.
The authorities in Tigray have warned of a deteriorating humanitarian situation and have blamed a government-imposed blockade for increasing levels of hunger.