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 (per 03 June)

  • The two divisions that left Tigray yesterday are only reportedly part of a rotation of troops. More Eritrean troops are being deployed in Eastern and Central Zones of Tigray. There are estimated 100- 150 buses full of Eritrean soldiers crossing Zelambessa and Rama towards Tigray, to be deployed in Eastern and Central Tigray.
  • A source told the Catholic charity, Aid to the Church in Need, that soldiers from neighboring Eritrea are continuing to slaughter and rape civilians.
  • Widespread sexual violence, including against nuns, is part of a genocidal campaign against Tigrayans.
  • The source said ““This is clearly genocide against the people of Tigray. This is not just fighting; they are killing everybody – that is a sign of genocide.””They are deliberately targeting the young. Young people are killed, our ladies and women are abused with sexual harassment – that is a sign of genocide itself.”
  • He further elaborated on the sexual violence against women, saying that they were being subjected to “different kind of abuse, like you’ve never heard before,”. The situation is worsened by the fact that the few places that are in a position to help these women, such as hospitals, are often near Ethiopian and Eritrean soldiers.
  • OCHA said over 5.4000 unaccompanied children have been identified in the Tigray region.
  • 2.8 million of the 5 million people had been reached since late March. OCHA estimates that 5.2 million people are in need of food assistance across Tigray.
  • 1,715,176 people were found to be displaced in Tigray and Sudan.
  • OCHA and its partners in the region are operating 55 Mobile Health and Nutrition Teams (MHNT) in 57 Woredas. Up from 40 MHNT in 34 Woredas in mid May.
  • One of the gaps that OCHA  identifies in the water supply is a “military presence around water sources in Mekelle (Enda-Gebriel) and occupation of water offices in Adi-shehu and Hagere Selam in Southeastern and Central Zones of Tigray.”

Reported Situation in Ethiopia (per 03 June)

  • The Ethiopian government said the counter-attack operations against the TPLF will be expected to be finalized soon.
  • According to Addis Fortune Ethiopian authorities believe their country is under an orchestrated attack that is “condescending in nature, often patronizing in tone, belligerent in approach and destructive in the outcome.”
  • Billene Seyoum, the spokesperson of the Prime Minister, said that there is a concoction of figures and stories about developments unfolding in the Tigray region that is designed to push a particular global narrative “which does not serve the people of Tigray.”
  • Billene said: “The Ethiopian government is facilitating the withdrawal of Eritrean troops from Tigray and the withdrawal has already commenced.” Many has doubted the statement and said recent movement of troops in Tigray are routine rotations not withdrawal.
  • It is a statement in sharp contrast given a day earlier by Dina Mufti, spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who said Eritrean troops would leave when they do. “Hopefully, they will leave one day,” said Dina during his weekly media briefing.
  • The head of the Ethiopian Attorney General, Gideon Timothewos said the calls the world is echoing have little to do with the wellbeing of the Tigray region. They are instead driven by “other vested interests…fabrications are spun for fundraising and relevance.”
  • Officials are saying that “ insecurity and logistical” challenges make voting “impossible” in 26 constituencies across Ethiopia during the upcoming June 21 elections.
  • Rising tensions between different ethnicities has led to more violence and hundreds of deaths in recent months. A hundred people were killed in Ataye, Amhara, in April.
  • Similarly incidents of violence have been increasing in Oromo and there have been reported tensions in Ethiopian Somaliland as well.
  • According to France24 the violence is also leading to political “apathy”. One person told the organisation that “Why would we vote in elections? We have no interest in elections, We’ve lost our homes.”
  • Birtukan Mideksa, the chairwoman of the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE), has told a court that the board has started the process of registering the jailed members of the opposition party for candidacy.
  • There are rumours that the newly appointed Ethiopian Ambassador to Eritrea (appointed on 3 March), Mihretab Mulugeta, is having difficulties getting accredited in Asmara. A similar problem was encountered by his predecessor, who had to wait a year, before being able to present his credentials.

International situation (per 03 June)

  • The EU and the US are planning a meeting on the situation in Ethiopia before a G7 conversation on the crisis. The meeting will be livestreamed.
  • A draft note seen by Devex lays out two objectives:
  • To mobilize consensus among U.S. allies on the enormity of the humanitarian and human rights emergency in Tigray.
    • To galvanize bolder action within the UN system for a relief response commensurate with the scope and scale of the crisis.
  • Mark Lowcock, U.N. humanitarian chief, is expected to brief the United Nations Security Council.
  • The US embassy in Addis Ababa has said that the U.S. joined “humanitarian partners to meet with Ethiopian officials for an update on Tigray.  International partners have contributed more than $500m to Tigray. “They “continue to call on all parties to cease hostilities, allow full and safe humanitarian access, and allow journalists to do their jobs.”
  • President Kenyatta of Kenya is due to meet Special Horn Envoy Feltman on Friday.
  • EEPA is holding a Webinar on Voices From Tigray Brutalities against Religious leaders, Holy Places, and Heritage in Tigray on June 8th, 14:00-16:00 EAT, 13:00-15:00 CET, 07.00-09.00 U.S East. The registration link is:

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.

Links of interest