Source: EEPA

Situation Report EEPA HORN No. 11 – 29 November

Europe External Programme with Africa is a Belgium-based Centre of Expertise with in-depth knowledge, publications, and networks, specialised in issues of peace building, refugee protection and resilience in the Horn of Africa. EEPA has published extensively on issues related to movement and/or human trafficking of refugees in the Horn of Africa and on the Central Mediterranean Route. It cooperates with a wide network of Universities, research organisations, civil society and experts from Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Djibouti, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Uganda and across Africa.

Key in-depth publications can be accessed on the website.

Key information (in addition to what is already widely published)

Military situation in the Horn region (as confirmed per 29/11)

  • Air missile attacks and bombardments in Mekelle (morning), and PM Abiy  Ahmed claims that Mekelle is under control of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) and that the military operation is complete. The Regional Government of Tigray claims that ENDF does not control Mekelle at this time (28 Nov).
  • Reuters cites a diplomat in direct contact with residents in Mekelle saying that explosions were reported in the north of the city, in the Hamidai area. This is in a close location to the big industrial factories like Mesfin Industrial Engineering (MIE) and the Referral Hospital of Ayder, the biggest Hospital in the region.
  • Other targets in Mekelle are the microfinance bank of Dedebit, which was assisting people since national banks were closed for the last few weeks in the region (Reuters).
  • Claims that an ENDF Lieutenant General Bacha Debele has been captured (appointed by PM Abiy several weeks ago).
  • Unconfirmed reports that two ENDF Generals have been killed.
  • Reports of targets hit in the Southern and Western part of Eritrea by Tigray Defense Forces.
  • Reports of (at least) six rocket attacks on Asmara (Eritrea) from Tigray (evening) (28 Nov).
  • Reports that the Regional Government of Tigray has warned foreign diplomats to leave Addis Ababa immediately as it will be a target for missile attacks in retaliation. Other targets mentioned in the warning are Bishoftu (Oromo state), Bahir Dar, Gondar and Dessie in (Amhara region).

International responses (as confirmed per 29/11)

  • Former PM of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Desalegn, congratulates PM Abiy and the government, the people of Ethiopia and the people of Tigray (twitter).
  • The Pope appeals for an end to the violence: “I invite everyone to prayer and to fraternal respect, to dialogue and to a peaceful resolution of the disagreements.”
  • Human Rights Watch states that Ethiopian government has responsibility to immediately facilitate humanitarian access.
  • AU Envoys issue communique after their talk with PM Abiy Ahmed, stating the Envoys were briefed on the current military operations.

Situation refugees (as confirmed per 29/11)

  • Thousands of Eritrean refugees, recognised by UNHCR, have been abducted by Eritrean soldiers from refugee camps under the Ethiopian Federal Administration of Refugees and Returnees Affairs (ARRA) in Tigray, presumably to be forcefully returned to Eritrea.
  • Calls for urgent investigation into the abduction of Eritrean refugees under international protections and their forceful return to Eritrea.
  • UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi notes that humanitarian aid organisations urgently ask for 147 million USD to aid refugees in Sudan for the next six months.
  • Continued reporting that the number of refugees reaching Sudan is diminishing and that Ethiopian soldiers are on guard at the border. Refugees told AFP that anyone trying to cross must avoid the main road and remain unseen by the soldiers.

Reported situation in Tigray (as confirmed per 29/11)

  • Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed states that Federal Police is now looking for TPLF leadership in Mekelle.

Reported situation in Ethiopia (as confirmed per 29/11)

  • Ethiopian Federal Police issues arrest warrants against several Ethiopian citizens for “inciting terrorism”, including some academics in the diaspora and activists in #WarOnTigray.

Press and media (as confirmed per 29/11)

  • Tigray Mass Media Agency (TMMA) and Dimisti Woyane (DW) International are jammed.
  • Phone and internet to the Mekelle and Tigray region remains closed off.
  • Hate speech intensifies between different ethnic groups in the region.
  • Disclaimer: All information in this situation report is presented as a fluid update report, as to the best knowledge and understanding of the authors at the moment of publication. EEPA does not claim that the information is correct but verifies to the best of ability within the circumstances. Publication is weighed on the basis of interest to understand potential impacts of events (or perceptions of these) on the situation. Check all information against updates and other media. EEPA does not take responsibility for the use of the information or impact thereof. All information reported originates from third parties and the content of all reported and linked information remains the sole responsibility of these third parties. Report to info@eepa.be any additional information and corrections.

Links of interest

https://www.indcatholicnews.com/news/40998

https://www.usip.org/publications/2020/11/ethiopias-problems-will-not-end-military-victory#.X8HchhfK7iJ

https://www.barrons.com/news/refugees-accuse-ethiopia-army-of-blocking-road-to-sudan-01606412707