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Reported situation in Tigray (per 01 August)
- Reported that Tigray Defense Forces (TDF) have passed Lalibela on the South Eastern Front. They went through the outskirts but decided not to enter the city.
- TDF is now moving to the Nefas Mewcha area, with the objective of blocking the connection of Gondar to Bahir Dar to stop ENDF supplies to Tigray.
- The road from Woldeya (Northern Wollo) to Debratabor towards the Gondar (Amhara) area is controlled by TDF.
- A high-level TDF source states that TDF has advanced in the Wadla Dalanta area in Wollo and Gojan. There is now no longer an operable connecting road between Wollo and Gondar.
- TDF is in control of Chiffra in Afar and has passed it.
- Reported that heavy military equipment and thousands of ENDF allied soldiers are relocated from the “Serdo” to the “Chiffra” front. Around five army helicopters have landed in Semera, the capital of the Afar region in Ethiopia.
- The military strategy of TDF seems to follow its successful 1991 operation against the Derg regime.
- The Central Command of Tigray Defense Forces (TDF) told Dimtsi Weyane (DW) International that “Operation of Tigrayan Mothers” has been successfully completed.
- In the Operation of Tigrayan Mothers, over 30,000 ENDF soldiers and forces from various regions including Amhara, Somali, Sidama, Afar and Oromia, have been killed, injured and captured.
- The operation was held from 12-27 July 2021 in three fronts (Afar, Southern and Western Tigray). Over 17,852 were killed, 11,342 injured and 944 were captured.
- In the operation, 19 Tanks, 1 BM-Launcher, 3 heavy artillery (130mm), 36 heavy artillery (122mm), 11 (BMP military vehicles), 11 ZU-23, 4 (107mm rocket), 3 mortar (120mm), hundreds of mortar (82mm), hundreds of Bren, DShk and military radios, 178 vehicles and thousands of light machine guns were captured.
- General Tsadkan Gebretensae, commander of TDF, told the BBC that the TDF will keep fighting until the blockade of Tigray is lifted and the federal government accepts its conditions for ceasefire.
- General Tsadkan also said the future of Tigray will be decided by its people in a referendum.
- The New York Times (NYT) said the main obstacle for humanitarian access to Tigray is the blockade by the Ethiopian government.
- Aid groups and local witnesses told the NYT that Ethiopian and allied Eritrean soldiers have stolen grain, burned crops and destroyed agricultural tools.
- “The Ethiopian federal police subjected Western aid workers to extensive searches along the way, and later detained seven Tigrayan drivers overnight after impounding their vehicles. The drivers and vehicles were released after two days,” said aid workers.
- The NYT said a relief convoy headed for Tigray came under fire on the road through Afar on July 18, forcing it to turn around.
- The Ethiopian government blamed the attack on the Tigray People’s Liberation Front.
- But two senior U.N. officials said they believed the attack had been carried out by a pro-government militia at the behest of the Ethiopian security forces.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) warns that millions of people in conflict-ridden Tigray lack access to basic healthcare and risk falling ill: “About 3.8 million people in Tigray need health assistance. The agency wants to scale up its health services to assist at least 2.3 million this year but only 87,000 have been reached since May 1.”
- WHO spokeswoman Fadela Chaib says lack of cash and fuel, limited access, insecurity, and depleted medical stocks are some of the many obstacles hampering WHO’s life-saving operation.
- “What we are most concerned with is the fact that it is the season for cholera and cholera is a problem in the region,” said Chaib. “Measles, malaria, providing health care for people who are injured from the current conflict, and also people who need help. For example, pregnant women, lactating women, children with vaccination. All are very urgent needs.”
- WHO also said restoring health services is extremely challenging. It says health facilities have been damaged, equipment looted and destroyed, and essential medicines are lacking.
- “In addition many health workers no longer are available because they are not being paid and face dangers from the prevailing chaotic conditions,” added WHO.
- The Regional Government of Tigray has issued a new statement on 27 July 2021.,The statement says: “The Government of Tigray recognizes the fast changing political and military developments and their ramifications for the peace and security of the country and has found it necessary to amend the previous preconditions for a negotiated ceasefire.” Accordingly the Tigray government has set out the following:
- “It has become increasingly obvious that the current regime has neither the legitimacy and the constitutional mandate nor the wherewithal to govern the country. In light of this we are calling for the commencement of a transitional arrangement and an inclusive political process that includes the major political actors in the country with a view to addressing the current political and constitutional problems afflicting the country.
- The Government of Tigray once again reiterates its demand for an internationally verifiable withdrawal of Eritrean and Amhara forces from Tigray and assures the return of status quo ante.
- Moreover, the government of Tigray reiterated the following preconditions for any talks to discuss a negotiated ceasefire:
- All discontinued essential services to Tigray including; electricity, telecommunication, banking services, all forms of transport, health services and commerce should resume with immediate effect. All forms of blockade on media should cease immediately;
- Immediately release the budget for the year 2013 and 2014 Ethiopian calendar;
- The establishment of multiple humanitarian corridors that allows for the provision of humanitarian assistance in all forms of transport to those most in need;
- The release of all political prisoners detained on the basis of their identity; including members of ENDF, public servants, and Tigrayans from all walks of life;
- The immediate cessation of mass detention of Tigrayans that is going on at a frightening scale all over Ethiopia, closing of businesses and freedom of movement for all Tigrayans living across Ethiopia and the immediate halting of genocidal media campaigns and venomous rhetoric of officials, against Tigrayans;
- Acceptance of these terms as a precondition for talks about a negotiated ceasefire should be preceded by the implementation of the terms enumerated from 1 through to 5 and should be made public through international and national media outlets.”
International Situation (per 01 August)
- The United Nations under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Martin Griffiths, has started a six-day mission to Ethiopia.
- USAID Chief Samantha Power is visiting the region and there is warning of punitive measures if aid is unable to reach the Tigray region.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org any additional information and corrections.
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