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 organizations, 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 11 July)

  • According to several reports, Eritrean and Amhara soldiers are evicting thousands of Eritreans from Humera in Western Tigray.
  • The New York Times published an account of how the Tigrayan Defence Force defeated the Ethiopian army.
  • Nine trucks carrying food for the WHO to Mekelle, were forced to turn back. They were forced to stop in North Wollo for three days, before they turned back as local communities were stopping them from passing through.
  • The officials claim that the vehicles were stopped at a police station for their “own security”. Although some other officials provided more ambiguous statements. One official said they were being held until “further notice”.
  • A new report released by UNOCHA estimates that 5.2 million people are in need of assistance.
  • The report says that the Humanitarian situation is improving as many parts of Tigray become more accessible. The report also says that UNOCHA partners are slowly starting to resume operations in Tigray.
  • However, according to people that have looked at the numbers provided in the report, OCHA is also reporting that only 3% of the food sent to Tigray is actually being delivered.
  • Additional supplies, funding, and staff remain in urgent demand to tackle the crisis. 
  • Eritrean officials and Eritrean government supporters have been pushing the narrative that the TDF is behind attacks on Eritrean refugees in Tigray. Although there have been reports of attacks against Eritrean refugees and refugee camps, the identity of the attackers remains unconfirmed.
  • According to sources, there are frequent attacks on the Mai Aini refugee camp. The attackers have not yet been identified. However there have been some suggestions that these attacks are being carried out for revenge for the crimes of the Eritrean army in Tigray over the last few months.
  • The World Food Organisation says that a convoy of 50 trucks filled with food and other emergency supplies is halfway to Tigray.

Reports on the conflict in Tigray (per 11 July)

  • An Eritrean soldier that fled to Sudan has said that he was deployed on the border on November 2nd. He was conscripted from prison and arrived on the border with 160 other prisoners.
  • He further says that he fought in Tigray for three months before fleeing, and stayed in houses of “ the normal people of Tigray who had escaped”.
  • According to several sources, a major confrontation is being prepared around Badme, a town on the border between Eritrea and Tigray, Ethiopia. Eritrean and other troops are moving into the area. Eritrean general Filipos Woldeyohannes is reportedly in command.
  • According to other sources, further confrontations are also being prepared in Southern and Western Tigray.

Situation in Ethiopia (per 11 July)

  • Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s party, the Prosperity Party, has won the election that was held on 21 June. The PP is expected to take  out 421 of 436 the  seats in the House of Peoples representatives.
  • The election was tainted with opposition parties withdrawing from the race after allegations of systematic repression, detention of opposition leaders, or regions not being able to vote.
  • President Biden said on the 25th of June that the election in Ethiopia was neither “free, nor fair”.
  • The profiling and mass arrest of ethnic Tigaryans has been continued in Addis Ababa, Dire-Dawa, Jijiga, Adama, and other parts of Ethiopia.
  • Addis Fortune says Harmony and Kaleb hotels on Djibouti Street, in Addis Ababa, were shut down on July 5, 2021, after local authorities alleged the two establishments had played Tigrigna music.
  • Reported that over 48,000 businesses owned by ethnic Tigrayans were shut down in Addis Ababa.
  • Reported that the owners of Aksum and Capital hotels in Addis Ababa were arrested as part of the recent campaign of profiling and arresting ethnic Tigrayans.
  • Reported that ethnic Tigrayan residents were killed and their bodies dragged on the street tied on a Bajaj, a three-wheeler vehicle, in the town of Woreta, South Gondar, Amhara regional state.
  • They were killed after the body of an Amhara militia, who was killed in a fight with Tigray defense forces, arrived in the town.
  • Houses, hotels, and other businesses of ethnic Tigrayans in the town were also looted, burned, and destroyed by the Amhara youth.

International Situation (per 11 July)

  • Human Rights Watch is calling on the United Nations Human Rights Council to act immediately regarding Tigray. Faced with the amount of evidence of atrocities committed in Tigray, the Council needs to pass a resolution to allow the Council to consider the findings of the investigations under way in Tigray.
  • HRW says that “the Human Rights Council needs to adopt the proposed resolution so that it can receive and consider timely facts and fulfill its mandate to prevent further atrocities.”
  • The Committee for the Protection of Journalists (CPJ) has called on the EU to promote press freedom in its upcoming Council meeting on Ethiopia taking place on July 12th. The CPJ is calling on the EU to also focus on “how the Ethiopian government has been cracking down on the media”.
  • They added that journalist safety is vital and that the EU should “stand against Ethiopian authorities’ suppression of information and criticism.”
  • The Secretary General of the UN and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed spoke on the phone to discuss the humanitarian situation in Tigray. The PM told the SG that Ethiopia would facilitate humanitarian access to the region. The SG acknowledged the “governments offer to facilitate urgent humanitarian assistance, including regular United Nations Humanitarian flights into Tigray”.
  • EEPA is holding a Webinar on Voices From Tigray: “Hunger For Peace, Hunger For Justice” on 13th July at 14:00-16:00 EAT, 13:00-15:00 CET, 07.00-09.00 U.S East. You can register here for the webinar:

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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