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 26 July)

  • Multiple reports indicate that the town of Debark, capital of the Northern Gondar zone, is controlled by Tigray Defense Forces. It is only 90kms away from the city of Gondar.
  • Fierce fighting between Tigray defense forces and ENDF allied forces was reported near the town of Chifra in Afar regional state.
  • The President of the Amhara region, Mr. Agegehu Teshager has called on “all young people, militia, non-militia in the region, armed with any government weapon, armed with personal weapons, to join the anti-TPLF war mission from tomorrow.”
  • “These people (the people of Tigray) are the enemy to all Ethiopian people. These people are the enemy of the Oromo, the Afar, the Gambella and the Somali people,” said Teshager.
  • According to Morad News the road and railway between Djibouti and Addis Ababa has been blocked/vandalised by Ethiopia regional state Somali protestors.
  • According to Tigrai Media House (TMH) a presidential bodyguard from Ethiopia has been captured during a fight with Tigray defense forces in the Chifra, Afar region of Ethiopia.
  • Commander Asmare Gebre said he was working as bodyguard of the presidential palace of Ethiopia before he and his colleagues were deployed to the Afar front to fight against the Tigray defense forces.
  • Reported concern of the effects of the conflict in the Afar region due to the influx of TDF troops in the drought-ridden region where food shortages are compounded by the incoming troops from neighbouring Tigray.
  • The Alliance of Tigray Association in Diaspora (ATAD) has released a press statement denouncing the genocidal characterization of Tigrayans by Ethiopian leaders.
  • ATAD called for all peace-loving Amhara people to denounce the recent call for genocide by the Amhara regional state president on the Tigray people and reject from serving the Amhara civilians population as cannon fodder for the interest of few expanisionst and extremist Amhara leaders.
  • ATAD mentioned the common shared interests of the people of Amhara and Tigray and called for the Amhara people to play a positive role towards an all-inclusive political dialogue as the only means to solve the current complex crisis in Ethiopia.
  • ATAD also called for all Ethiopians to denounce and reject the mobilization and deployment of any new regional force recruits for the genocidal war that defend the aspirations of the Amhara expansisionst leadership on one of Ethiopia’s federated state Tigay and its people.
  • ATAD added that members of the ENDF should rebuff the renewed call for intensified war on Tigray and stop being used for the clandestine plan of Abiy and the Amhara authorities for the purpose of illegally annexing territories from Tigray.
  • ATAD further called for the international community to take immediate action to avert a new wave of genocide on the people of Tigray and on the use of Amhara civilian population as cannon fodder by Ethiopian and Amhara regional state leaders.
  • “The International community should put pressure on Abiy’s administration for a negotiated ceasefire and all-inclusive dialogue, opening new avenues for the reconciliation among Ethiopians, and lasting peaceful solution,” said ATAD.

Situation in Ethiopia (per 26 July)

  • The Catholic bishops of Ethiopia have released a communication expressing concern “about the ongoing conflict in the country’s Tigray region a situation they term to be `worrisome’ and saddening the heart when people are in dire need of peace.”
  • They say that “there are no “winners” and “losers”, no “them” and “us”; we are all brothers and sisters.””
  • They highlighted that it is never too late to end violence and that the only way forwards was “peace and reconciliation”. Truth, Justice, and forgiveness are important to restore trust.
  • The communication came after an assembly held between 13 and 16 July. All bishops, expect Bishop Tesfassilasie Medhin of the Eparchy of Adigrat, Tigray, were present.
  • Footage of Oromo and other Ethiopian reinforcements being sent by plane and by bus to the front in Tigray.

Situation in the Horn region(per 26 July)

  • According to the Sudanese Tribune, a Sudanese soldier has been killed in clashes between Sudanese soldiers and Ethiopian militias.
  • A military official said that “The heavily armed Ethiopian militia tried to cultivate the Sudanese lands, but the armed forces and the reserve forces clashed with them and Corporal Adam Ibrahim of the 121st Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division was killed during the fighting.”
  • Additionally it has been reported that both Ethiopia and Sudan have deployed more forces to the region.
  • Sudan has also closed the border with Ethiopia following the disappearance of a commander who was chasing of Ethiopian militias.

International Situation (per 26 July)

  • According to Foreign Lobby, the von Batten-Montague-York lobbying firm is aiming to suspend Ethiopia in the US preferred trade agreements, with the following conditions expressed in papers filed, namely that the Ethiopian government should:
  • “Remove all Ethiopian-allied forces and militia from the Tigray region of Ethiopia”;
    • “Allow for unhindered delivery of humanitarian aid to civilians in Tigray”;
    • “Stop the human rights violations and atrocities committed by Ethiopian and Ethiopian-allies forces and militia against civilians in Tigray”; and
    • “Allow for an independent investigation into the reported human rights violations and atrocities committed against civilians in Tigray.”

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.

Links of interest

Sudan closes border crossing with Ethiopia after disappearance of commander: reports  | Arab News

Sudanese soldier killed in border clashes with Ethiopian militiamen – Sudan Tribune: Plural news and views on Sudan

Ethiopia’s Amhara state rallies youth to fight Tigrayan forces as war widens | Reuters