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. The situation reports can be found here.

Reported Situation in Tigray (as per 19 April)

–        Reported that Eritrean forces have allegedly executed wounded Eritrean troops in the fight with Tigray defense forces.

–        Atse Yohannes secondary and preparatory school in Mekelle has been looted, vandalized and destroyed three to four times by Ethiopian and Eritrean forces including, the library, furniture, computers, power stations, over 80 plasma TVs and documentation.

–        According to several people, Debretsion Gebremichael, the Chairman of the TPLF, has held discussions with the US and European officials.

–        Debretsion Gebremicheal also gave a statement (reported also in yesterday’s edition) which was broadcasted by Dimtsi Weyane. He stated that the Tigrayan forces are strengthening and inflicting significant material and personnel damage to the ENDF and Eritrean forces.

–        He also said Eritrea is in the process of sending more forces into Tigray instead of withdrawing.

–        He rejected the involvement of the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission in the investigation process of the atrocities

–        He called upon the international community to take appropriate measures to hold the invading forces accountable, especially Isaias Afewerki and Abiy Ahmed, and to provide urgent humanitarian assistance to the displaced people of Tigray.

–        He demanded that the Eritrean Defense forces stop further atrocities on the innocent Tigrayans and challenged them to ask why they are dying in this senseless war against Tigray. He said that  if they surrender,  the people of Tigray and its government will arrange a safe place.

–        In an open letter, three Tigray political parties, SaWeT, Baytona, and TIP, call for an internationally monitored withdrawal from Tigray.

–        They say that the conflict has claimed “hundreds of thousands of lives”, left millions displaced and left tens of thousands of women subjected to sexual abuses.

–        They call on the international community to ensure that Eritrean troops comply with the demands to withdraw. This needs to be monitored internationally.

–        France24 has published a story on a video which shows the aftermath of a woman that has been sexually assaulted. The video was filmed in Adigrat, after the woman was brought there. She was found semi-conscious on the road after being raped allegedly by multiple Eritrean soldiers.

–        France24 also says that Eritrean soldiers later came to the hospital to kill her, however she was safely evacuated.

Reported Situation in Ethiopia (as per 19 April)

–        Reported that over 40 members of the Ethiopain Federal Police including senior commanders have defected to Sudan.

–       The Ethiopian ministry of defense has decided the Oromo Special, South Wollo and North Shewa zones of the Amhara regional state to be under a command post.

–       Opposition parties in the Somali regional state of Ethiopia have threatened to boycott the upcoming election citing massive fraudulent activities on the voters registration process.

–       Major parties including The Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), Freedom and Equality party (FEP), and Ethiopian Citizens for Social Justice (EZEMA) together with independent candidates issued a joint statement explaining how the entire registration process has been hijacked and manipulated to the advantages of the ruling party, Ethiopian Prosperity Party  branch in the Somali regional state.

–       The opposition parties also stated that the prosperity Party (PP) have directly taken control of the processes by commanding both the board officials and public that the voters card need to be kept and and not given out.

–       “We have concrete proof in each location of the Somali regional state and submitted our complaints to the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE),” said one of the opposition officials.

Reported Situation in the Horn region (as per 19 April)

  • Sudan has called on the African countries to support its call for a legally binding agreement on the GERD before the second filling.
  • “Today they threaten 20 million Sudanese and the national security of Sudan when they say that they will carry out the second filling without a legally binding agreement,” said Mariam aL-Mahdi, foreign minister of Sudan. 

Reported International situation (as per 19 April)

–        EU High representative Borell has reiterated his concern for the situation in Tigray. He also said that the EU urgently calls for humanitarian access to the region. This was promised by the Ethiopian government, but according to Borell has not been not been “fulfilled”.

–        Borell also said that he “hoped” that member states would look at possible decisions they can take if Ethiopia does not abide by its commitments regarding the situation in Tigray.

–        “The Ethiopian government must show commitment to the organization of a national dialogue in the run up to the elections,” said Mr Borrell.

–        The EU also announced a further 53.7 million in aid for the most vulnerable people in Ethiopia.

–        The EU Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, is scheduled to hold talks with Ethiopian officials on Tuesday (20/04/2021).

–        “The conflict in the Tigray region has exacerbated an already difficult situation in Ethiopia. Humanitarian needs – like food security, health and shelter – are growing. Violence is increasing in several parts of the country,” said Lenarčič.

–        He also said the situation in Tigray remains severe despite slight improvements, keeping millions of people in need of assistance. The key priority therefore remains to ensure humanitarian access to all those in need in Tigray.

–        He added that the safety and security of humanitarian personnel must be ensured, in accordance with International Humanitarian Law (IHL). We continue to call for the respect of IHL, including the obligation to protect civilians and for the perpetrators of all attacks on civilians to be brought to justice.

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 any additional information and corrections.

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