Source: EEPA

Situation Report EEPA HORN No. 12 – 30 November 2020

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)

Regional Situation (as confirmed per 30 Nov)

  • Al Jazeera reports that Sudan’s Rapid Support Forces (RSF) have seized significant amounts of weapons, ammunition and military equipment on Sudan’s eastern border with Ethiopia (28/11).
  • Several reports of looting mainly by Eritrean soldiers in Tigray in towns and rural areas, including of farmers, universities and industries.
  • Reports that Eritrean refugees in camps under international protection in Tigray being forced onto trucks by Eritrean soldiers and sent to Eritrea.
  • Indication of other fighters involved in the war arena, such as Somali fighters, trained by Eritrea. (Unconfirmed)

Military situation in (as confirmed per 30 Nov)

  • Tigray Mass Media Agency (TMMA) and Dimisti Woyane (DW) International report that Tigray Defense Forces (TDF) have hit an Eritrean fighter jet which crashed near Mekelle; TV crews were at the site and are sending out pictures. The pilot, who survived the crash and has been captured, is named as Tadesse Abraha Abebe, an Eritrean pilot.
  • A general of the Ethopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) has been severely wounded and is receiving treatment in Korea Hospital, Addis Ababa.

Damage and casualties from the war (as confirmed per 30 Nov)

  • Tigray Media House reports DW TV building was hit in 28 Nov attack.
  • Reports of civilian casualties in Mekelle (Tigray). So far, at least 19 civilians have died and 35 civilians have been injured as a result of the offensive of 28 Nov. Of these 6 civilians died near Aider, one whole family in Kebelle, 16 near Mesfin Ind. in Mekelle.
  • Factories and Universities, private shops, hotels and businesses are looted and burnt to the ground in Mekelle (Tigray).
  • Ethiopian state TV says that 70 graves were found in Humera, Tigray.

Political responses (as confirmed per 30 Nov)

  • Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, Mr Gedu Andargachaw, congratulates Amhara Special Forces and militias in Amharic for their success and victory in Twitter and Facebook posts which were later changed several times, to include ENDF.
  • United States Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Tibor Peter Nagy Jr., expresses concern over fighting and shelling in Mekelle and urges immediate end to the conflict and restoration of peace, protection of civilians and humanitarian access.
  • Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement calls for opening of transport- and communication lines and humanitarian access for UN and humanitarian actors to Tigray and to open consular services to citizens.

Situation refugees (as confirmed per 30 Nov)

  • The Eritrean Movement for Democracy and Human Rights reports that the World Food programme has advised that Eritrean refugee camps in Tigray received their food rations for November in October. They have not received those for the upcoming month of December.
  • United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi expresses concern over the messages that Eritrean refugees have been abducted, stating that this would be a “major violation of international norms.”
  • ICRC reports that 1,000 Eritrean refugees from Shire have come to Mekelle and are looking for assistance; ICRC has difficulties in meeting their needs, due to disruption of supply.

Reported situation in Ethiopia (as confirmed per 30 Nov)

  • Reports of people fleeing Addis Ababa and Bishoftu (Oromo regional state) to Hawassa and Adama following a missile attack warning from the Tigray regional government. (Unconfirmed)
  • Warning for evacuation to Bishoftu is in Oromia region by the Regional Government of Tigray. Bishoftu is the place where the Ethiopian Air force headquarters is stationed.

Reported situation in Tigray (as confirmed per 30 Nov)

  • Mekelle is reportedly calm at this time.
  • Tigray Media House – live claims that Mekelle is firmly under Tigray regional government control.
  • ICRC reports that local hospitals and health facilities in Mekelle (Tigray) are facing a high number of trauma patients and are running dangerously low on medical supplies to care for the wounded as well as other medical needs and conditions.
  • Ambulances run by the Ethiopian Red Cross Society (ERCS) have been transporting injured and deceased people to Ayder Referral Hospital in Mekelle (Tigray).
  • 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.icrc.org/en/document/ethiopia-hospitals-mekelle-struggling-care-wounded-medical-supplies-run-out-red-cross

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-55099908

https://apnews.com/article/eritrea-abiy-ahmed-ethiopia-asmara-kenya-52bb678b19f48e036470caae4aabdb6a