Europe External Programme with Africa is a Belgium-based Centre of Expertise with in-depth knowledge, publications, and networks, specialised in issues of peacebuilding, refugee protection, and resilience in the Horn of Africa. EEPA has published extensively on issues related to the 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 26 April)

  • Dimtsi Weyane (DW) International said Tigray defense forces have entered the Amhara region and completely destroyed Amhara Special forces who were stationed around Miraq, Abergele Woreda.
  • In the fight, many ammunition and weapons were also seized by the Tigray defense forces.
  • Over 300 Ethiopian soldiers who were called in for help tried to enter the area but were also killed.
  • Dedebit Media said an Eritrean commander including soldiers has surrendered to Tigray defense forces following the call of Dr. Debretsion Gebremicheal.
  • Reported that house to house search was carried out by Ethiopian and Eritrean soldiers in Mekelle city following the disappearance of an Eritrean military officer.
  • Dimtsi Weyane (DW) International reported that there was intense fighting between ENDF allied forces and Tigray forces in Tsediya an area between Edaga Arbi and Nebelet, Central Tigray as well as Enda-Medhanialem and Agbe on April 23-24, 2021.
  • It was reported that, on these battlefields, Tigray defense forces inflicted significant damage on both Eritrean troops and ENDF forces.
  • Founder and chairperson of a local aid organization, Genet Birhanu was arrested in Mekelle after she travelled from Addis Ababa to deliver humanitarian assistance.
  • Reports indicate that ethnic profiling and mass arrest of Tigrayans in Addis Ababa is intensifying.
  • Tigrayans travelling from the Tigray region to Addis Ababa are detained in Addis Ababa indefinitely without any charge.
  • Reports are also indicating Tigrayans repatriated from different places like Yemen and Saudi Arabia are also being detained right after their arrival at Bole international airport. Just from prison to prison.
  • Road blockage and telecom blackouts in central, Northwestern, and western Tigray are still not lifted.

Reported Situation in Ethiopia (as per 26 April)

  • Reported that the head of the Amhara Regional state Police Commission, Commissioner Abere Adamu has been fired from his post.
  • Addis Standard said dozens of injured ethnic Oromo residents of North Shewa and Oromo Special Zone of Amhara regional state have arrived at Adama city, Oromia regional state to get medical treatment amid security concerns.

Reported Situation in the Horn region (as per 26 April)

  • Africa Confidential said Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy and Eritrea’s President Isaias are preparing an agreement under which Eritrean and Ethiopian troops can cooperate in each other’s countries.
  • Daily News Egypt says Egypt and Sudan have renewed their aim to hold a new round of negotiations on GERD, following the failure of the last round of talks in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
  • The tension between Addis Ababa on one side, and Cairo and Khartoum on the other, has reached a critical level, with Ethiopia announcing the date for the second filling of the dam.
  • This comes in a move that Sudan considers an imminent threat, and Egypt fears would have a negative impact on its share of River Nile waters.
  • The dispute, which involves Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia, has been impervious to regional and international mediations and is currently in an impasse.
  • Dimtsi Weyane (DW) International said Eritrea has sent troops to Somalia after gunfire has erupted in the capital Mogadishu.
  • Reported that more than 80% of the capital, Mogadishu is under the control of opposition forces.

Reported International situation (as per 26 April)

  • Sec. Antony J. Blinken spoke with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy to reiterate the United States’ grave concern about the deteriorating humanitarian and human rights crisis in the country, including the growing risk of famine in Tigray as well as ongoing insecurity in other parts of the country.
  • The Secretary pressed for Ethiopia’s and Eritrea’s commitments to withdraw Eritrean troops from Tigray to be implemented immediately, in full, and in a verifiable manner.
  • In addition, the Secretary noted that Eritrean forces and Amhara regional forces in Tigray are contributing to the growing humanitarian disaster and committing human rights abuses and stressed the need for all parties to the conflict to end hostilities immediately.
  • The Secretary noted his appointment of a Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa and noted that Ambassador Feltman would travel to Ethiopia in the coming days.
  • Sec. Antony J. Blinken announced on Friday that Jeffrey Feltman was appointed as a New US envoy for the Horn of Africa as Washington looks to step up diplomatic efforts in a region hit by the conflict in Tigray and other crises.
  • Blinken said the appointment underscores the Administration’s commitment to lead an international diplomatic effort to address the interlinked political, security, and humanitarian crises in the Horn of Africa.
  • “Feltman also will lead international efforts to address tensions between Ethiopia and Sudan and around the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam,” Blinken said in a statement.
  • In response to a parliamentary question, the German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development said Germany and the EU does not want to end bilateral cooperation at this time. Ethiopia is an important regional partner and it does not make sense to end it. However clear conditions have also been put forward, namely the unfettered access for humanitarian aid organisations and an independent UN investigation to “clarify the circumstances and realities”.
  • The UK government said Eritrea’s role in the Tigray conflict is particularly concerning; there are numerous reports of atrocities involving Eritrean forces, and their presence is fuelling insecurity.
  • It has called for Eritrean forces to leave Ethiopia immediately, in line with the commitment made by Prime Minister Abiy in his announcement on 26 March of their withdrawal.
  • “We are clear that their withdrawal must be swift, unconditional, and verifiable. We have yet to see any evidence that Eritrean forces are leaving Tigray,” said Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon.
  • Lord Ahmad also said the humanitarian situation in Tigray is dire, basic services have collapsed and the humanitarian response is hampered by poor security and access.
  • “There are credible reports of atrocities committed by all parties to the conflict, including harrowing reports of mass killings and rape. We will hold Prime Minister Abiy to his statement on 23 March that the perpetrators of human rights atrocities should face justice whoever they are,” added Lord Ahmad.

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. The publication is weighed on the basis of interest to understand the 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 the 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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