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 15 August)
- Central Command Post says Tigray Defense Forces (TDF) controls the strategic town of Debre Zebit in North Wollo Zone as part of the Operation of SunRise.
- TDF also controls the towns of Nefas Mewcha and Checheho in Southern Gondar Zone, in the Weldiya – Wereta road.
- Reported that TDF controls a strategic place Mount Guna and the outskirts of the town of Debre Tabor, capital of Southern Gondar Zone.
- A briefing by Tigray External Affairs Office (TEAO) says over 500,000 people are on the verge of famine in addition to the 6 million people who remain in need of emergency assistance.
- The Office said the supply of humanitarian goods is still being constrained by dysfunctionality; of the 1,400 trucks that would have been necessary to meet humanitarian needs between July 30 – August 12, only 152 have received permissions for access, this is 10.85% of what is needed.
- “A first-round assessment conducted by the Tigray Bureau of Health in 200 health facilities across 73 Woredas in Tigray shows health facilities only scored 21% in terms of their capacity to provide basic essential services,” reads the briefing of the office.
- The office added only 55 of 153 health facilities are functional, 4 of 5 general hospitals and 4 of 12 of the primary hospitals are functioning.
- The office said the government of Tigray has reiterated its call for a full and independent investigation into all crimes committed to hold all perpetrators accountable and get justice for survivors.
- A Tigrayan in the town of eastern Sudan, Gebretensay Gebrekristos, told Agence France-Presse (AFP) that he has been receiving grim news of yet more bodies washing up on the banks of the river bordering Ethiopia.
- Gebretensay says he has been receiving such phone calls since late July when Sudanese villagers found the first corpse floating down the Setit River, known as the Tekeze in Ethiopia.
- “It has been the case for weeks now. Once a new body is found, they call me and other Tigrayans here,” he told AFP at the eastern Sudanese state of Kassala. “We may not know them personally, but they are the bodies of our people.”
- Gebretensay says that based on information received from Humera, “around 150 Tigrayan prisoners were executed by federal forces with their hands tied behind their back”.
- “These accounts came from Tigrayans who fled Humera as well as people still in the town who spoke of hearing screams and gunshots,” he said. “We think there are more bodies in the river but we have not found them yet.”
- Tigrayan Kahsay Gebrselsey, who took part in the search for bodies, believes they belong to the Tigrayans allegedly executed in Humera. “We have heard that federal forces killed dozens of Tigrayan prisoners… and threw them in the river,” he said. “We think these are their bodies.”
- Although the men have little evidence to support their claims, they say some of the bodies had tattoos written in their language – Tigrinya.
- “One body had a tattoo of the words ‘I love you on his arm, and another had the name of his beloved carved on his arm as well,” said a Tigrayan Gebremaden Gabro.
- Hailu Kebede, foreign affairs head of the Salsay Weyane Tigray party has been arrested in Addis Ababa. Salsay Weyane is an opposition party within Tigray.
- Hailu has given interviews and/or provided information on the Tigray war that was published among others by Associated Press, BBC, and CBC.
- Genet Berhanu, Chairwoman of Tinsae charity organization, a local charitable organization based in Addis Ababa has been arrested by government security forces.
Situation in Ethiopia (per 15 August)
- The Export-Import Bank of China has withheld the disbursement of 339 million dollars in loan to Ethiopia as it conducts a review of the country’s debt standing, leading to delay in 8 projects.
- According to BBC Amharic various towns in the Amhara region, including Bahir Dar and Gondar, have declared a curfew in connection with the ongoing fighting between Amhara and Tigray forces.
- Among those who announced the curfew were the towns of Bahir Dar, Gondar, Debre Markos, Dessie and Kombolcha.
- City officials have also warned that action will be taken against individuals who do not comply with these restrictions.
- Debre Markos University in the Amhara region has started giving basic military training to academic and administrative staff members.
- Urgent notice from Debre Tabor University in Amhara region says all students should leave the campus starting from 14 August 2021 and they have been given a three-week break.
- A member of the Oromo Political Prisoners Defense Team and the lawyer of major political figures, Abduljebir Hussien has been found dead in Adama.
- A giant telecom company, MTN says it has dropped the Ethio-Telecom bid due to the Tigray conflict and growing tensions between Ethiopia and Egypt and Sudan.
- Metta-Alem Sinishaw, a senior political analyst on Ethiopia and the East African region, argues that the announced TDF-OLA pact carries more political than military significance.
- “It sounds more like a counter-strategy against the new national front that PM Abiy forged to isolate the TPLF,” he said. “Partnering with the OLA boosts TPLF’s position.
- He said as junior partners, Oromo movements have depended on TPLF’s support for logistics and external relations. “The OLA may not be strong militarily as the TPLF, but the size of the ethnicity (40 percent of 110 million Ethiopians) gives weight to TPLF to accept the alliance,” he added.
International Situation (per 16 August)
- U.S. Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, Jeffrey Feltman will travel to Djibouti, Ethiopia, and the United Arab Emirates from August 15 to August 24.
- Special Envoy Feltman will meet with senior officials in the three countries to discuss opportunities for the United States to promote peace and support the stability and prosperity of the Horn of Africa.
- France has suspended a deal on military cooperation with Ethiopia, two sources close to the issue said on Friday, as concerns intensify over the conflict in Ethiopia
- The deal agreed between Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and President Emmanuel Macron in March 2019 was suspended at the beginning of July.
- Macron and Abiy had made an agreement in which France would loan 85 million euros ($100 million) to support landlocked Ethiopia’s ambition to build a navy.
- Qatar National Bank QPSC asked a U.S. court to order Eritrea to pay nearly $300 million of debt after the Horn of Africa nation refused to participate in two lawsuits.
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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