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

International dimension (as confirmed per 04 Dec)

  • World Refugee & Migration Council members and others have called on the UN Secretary-General to convene an extraordinary meeting of the UN Security Council.
  • Crisis group, an independent organisation aimed at preventing war, called for inclusive dialogue in Ethiopia. Former Ethiopian PM, Hailemariam Dessalegn, is a trustee of the group.
  • The IGAD Peace and Security Division concluded its annual meeting with IGAD member states; the meeting was conducted with financial support from the EU.

Regional dimension (as confirmed per 04 Dec)

  • People of Mekelle are out in the streets blocking all roads and confronting the armed Eritrean troops & Amhara militias who brought hundreds of trucks and started to loot public/private properties (social media).
  • Reported that UAE drones bombed Workaemba, which is 20 minutes away from Abiy Addi in Tigray and 85 civilians died.
  • Mechanized military forces from Eritrea entered Hitsats refugee camp, via Shimelba camp, on 19 November, and in subsequent days looted the camp and local communities around the camps.
  • Eritrea is alleged to be forcefully arming Eritrean refugees in Tigray to fight host communities.
  • Radio Erena (Eritrean diaspora media) reports that over a 100 Ethiopian soldiers, who were in Senafe and other Eritrean hospitals, are being transferred back to Addis Ababa. Reportedly these planes also carry dead bodies.
  • Eritrean sources confirm the looting of properties from Tigray to Eritrea: “The Adwa marble factory is already here in Eritrea.”
  • The Tigray government has formally requested the opening of a humanitarian and press corridor into the regional state.
  • Many Ethiopian ENDF soldiers were airlifted to Eritrea before the start of hostilities in Tigray region. Many more were brought in soon after the conflict started.
  • Negotiations surrounding the GERD dam in Ethiopia, which has strained relations between Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt, are ongoing. Sudan’s minister of Agriculture, Abbas, says that the conflict has had no effect on negotiations.
  • US Asst. Secretary demands full and unhindered humanitarian access  and restoration of communications throughout Tigray to protect civilians and provide assistance to all in need.

Human Rights (as confirmed per 04 Dec)

  • Tigray: Eritrean Refugee camps in Tigray are still vulnerable. Fighting around Mai Ayni camp. Reports that many refugees are trying to find safe places. Social media showing pictures of refugees walking on the roads.
  • Supplies are being prepared to send to Tigray. Permission has been given by the Ethiopian government to provide aid in government controlled areas. Damaged roads and infrastructure is going to make it more difficult for the region to be reached.
  • Doctors in Mekelle report indiscriminate artillery barrages on civilian areas, looting by armed men and the deaths of at least 27 civilians and injuries to more than 100.
  • Sudanese forces have reported that Ethiopian soldiers are stopping refugees from crossing the border into Sudan.

Military situation (as confirmed per 04 Dec)

  • Claims that Shire and refugee camps are back under control of Tigray regional government.
  • The TPLF claims to have captured 15.000 soldiers which it has handed over to the ICRC.
  • There is low intensity fighting over the whole region.
  • All sides claim to have taken precautions to spare civilian casualties.
  • PM Abiy Ahmed told the Ethiopian Parliament that the Ethiopian government was consulting the government-appointed Tigray provisional government during operations in Tigray.
  • An aid worker has reported that fighting continues North, West, and South of Mekelle, capital city of Tigray Region. (Reuters)
  • Drone strikes were reported near Tembien, west of Mekelle, on December 3rd. Pictures of the damage in Werqamba, around Tembien town, are circulating.
  • Most of the Eritrean armed forces are currently in Tigray.
  • ENDF soldiers are posing for pictures in Mekelle. Little damage can be observed in those pictures.
  • Many weapon caches have been captured by ENDF forces in Mekelle.

Situation in Ethiopia (as confirmed per 04 Dec)

  • The Ethiopian government is indicating preparations of elections.
  • Reports Ethiopian Federal Police criminal investigation team entered Mekele.

Situation refugees (as confirmed per 04 Dec)

  • Tigray: Aid convoys are ready to move into Ethiopia’s Tigray region. There is an acute shortage of food, medicine and other supplies.

■ 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.crisisgroup.org/content/why-crisis-group-calls-inclusive-dialogue-ethiopia