Source: EEPA

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.

International Dimension (as confirmed per 01 Dec)

  • President of the Regional Government of Tigray, Debretsion Gebremichael, is in South Sudan and met there also with Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al Sisi. Presence confirmed by sources in South Sudan.
  • Egyptian President al Sisi arrived in South Sudan on Saturday 28 Nov. Ethiopian ambassador to South Sudan, Fisseha Shawl, left South Sudan abruptly.
  • Report by South Sudan news that Ethiopia expelled the South Sudanese Ambassador while the Ethiopian and South Sudan Government deny this.
  • Europe’s crisis management Commissioner Janez Lenarčič to visit Ethiopia Peace Minister, Muferiat Kamil, Tuesday to urge end to blockade for international aid organizations to Tigray; will visit Sudan on Wednesday and visit refugees in Kassala and Gedarif states on Thursday.
  • UN Refugee Chief Filipo Grandi concerned about nearly 100,000 Eritrean refugees in Tigray amid reports that many have been abducted and forcefully returned to Eritrea. If confirmed, this “would be major violations of international norms. It is my strong appeal for the prime minister of Ethiopia for this situation to be addressed as a matter of urgency.”
  • US Secretary of State Pompeo urges “complete end” to fighting in a call with Ethiopian PM Abiy.
  • Report on social media that Al Shabaab fighters have overrun Somali military base at Ba’adeyn village in Mudug region, seized army vehicles, weapons and ammunition; civilian casualties.
  • Federal Government of Somalia recalls its Ambassador to the Republic of Kenya and informs the Ambassador of Kenya to Somalia to depart to Kenya for consultations.
  • Situation in Ethiopia and Tigray discussed in Australian Parliament.

Regional dimension (as confirmed per 01 Dec)

  • TPLF claims  to have captured Eritrean troops fighting alongside Ethiopian forces. (unconfirmed)
  • Report that Eritrean Unit 35 entered Adi Girat. (unconfirmed)
  • More Somali fighters reported in Tigray, from two groups: ONLF (Ogaden National Liberation Front), fighters from Ethiopian Somaliland, and Eritrean-trained Somali fighters. (unconfirmed)

Military situation (as confirmed per 01 Dec)

  • The Government of Ethiopia has declared that the fighting is now over.
  • Reports of fighting taking place in Tembien, east of Mekelle with heights overseeing Mekelle. TPLF claims they have retaken Aksum and that they are fighting in Shire and near Wikro.
  • ENDF General dies in Addis Ababa after treated from wounds sustained in Tigray. (unconfirmed)

Damage and casualties from the war (as confirmed per 01 Dec)

  • In Yallo (Afar Region), fighting 11 days ago resulted in a massacre: people were hacked to death, burnt or shot, mostly women, young children and elderly. (unconfirmed)
  • Ongoing reports of severe looting from Tigray to Eritrea and Amhara regions.

Civilian casualties (as confirmed per 01 Dec)

  • Tigrayan TV is saying that at least 19 people were killed during artillery shelling of Mekelle.
  • Ayder Mekelle Referral Hospital filled with war casualties and is running out of basic supplies.

Situation refugees (as confirmed per 01 Dec)

  • Afar Region (Tigray’s eastern border) preparing for a massive influx of IDPs from Mekelle  into Aba’ala. Reported that 80,000 people fled Mekelle.
  • The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission urges the government to allow access to Tigray.
  • UN demands a neutral corridor and access to the Tigray region to provide humanitarian aid.
  • Germany has increased its contribution for humanitarian assistance to Ethiopia to 5 m€.
  • Over 45.000 refugees in Sudan. PM Abiy states that most of the refugees are young males. UNHCR data states that nearly half are children and a large number is female. BBC’s Anne Soy reports she spoke to many women and children while visiting Sudan refugee camps.

Political situation  (as confirmed per 01 Dec)

  • PM Abiy tells Parliament that ENDF troops did not kill civilians, and behaved responsibly.
  • PM Abiy Ahmed has said that the next focus is on rebuilding Tigray.
  • Oromo leader, Jawad Mohammed, calls for all-inclusive dialogue from Qality Federal Prison.

Press and media (as confirmed per 01 Dec)

  • TPLF television has started broadcasting again.
  • Journalist Kassa HaileMariam from Awramba Times arrested in Addis Ababa.
  • US House of Representatives to hold meeting on ‘The Unfolding Conflict in Ethiopia’ by the Subcommittee: Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights on 3 Dec, 2020 2:00pm.

  • 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://m.republicworld.com/world-news/africa/un-refugee-chief-says-ethiopia-conflict-far-from-over-as-eritrean-migrant-remain-at-risk.html?s=04

https://apnews.com/article/ethiopia-abiy-ahmed-kenya-79e5c00599c5f8613eda89ab972f23a5

https://foreignaffairs.house.gov/2020/12/the-unfolding-conflict-in-ethiopia