Situation in Tigray (per 8 June)
- The former United Nations undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, Mark Lowcock, says the declaration of famine in the Tigray regional state was blocked by the Ethiopian government.
- Speaking at an event, the humanitarian chief said: “At the end of my time in the U.N., it was clear to me that there was famine in Tigray, and the only reason it wasn’t declared was because the Ethiopian authorities were quite effective in slowing down the whole declaration system”.
- Lowcock said the international system for declaring famine is broken and getting a declaration of famine is political.
- “You have to fight your way through the [IPC’s] Famine Review Committee, and you can be blocked by the authorities of the country that you’re engaging with. And that’s what’s happened in Tigray.”
- The Government of Tigray has issued a statement calling for the international community to take its responsibilities seriously in ensuring the safety and security of Tigrayans, after a report by The New Humanitarian revealed the detention of around 9,500 Tigrayans in the Afar region.
- The statement also said that “the newspaper failed to recognize that Tigrayans continue to be the target of the state-sponsored genocide.”
- The statement reiterates Western Tigray remains blocked and reaffirms its commitment that Western Tigray and other occupied territories are non-negotiable parts of Tigray.
Situation in Ethiopia (per 8 June)
- According to the Addis Standard, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has announced the resumption of its activities in Gambella and Somali regions of Ethiopia.
- Services by the MSF in 84 locations across four regions of the country were suspended by the federal government of Ethiopia in July 2021, but restrictions were lifted in October 2021.
- Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Demeke Mekonnen, accused aid agencies of transporting more fuel than allowed and banned equipment to Tigray. Afar regional state media reported that the regional authorities seized “over 5,000 litres of illegal fuel” being transported into Tigray. The 20 trucks that were intercepted were also reportedly carrying humanitarian aid.
- Addis Standard says at least 19 people, including the head of Mizga Woreda’s administration of the Kamashi area, were killed in a confrontation between Benishangul Gumuz regional state special forces, and militants of the Gumuz Peoples’ Democratic Movement (GPDM).
- Police Commissioner of the Benishangul Gumuz region said that a businessman was among those 19 people killed and the majority of those killed were members of the GPDM.
- Afar Federalist Diaspora Coordination Committee stated that ENDF prisoners of war, recently released by the government of Tigray, are isolated and living in appalling conditions at a military camp in the Afar region and are being forced to return to the ENDF, which many refused to do. It called on the international media and ICRC to seek access to the camp since many are critically ill.
Situation in Eritrea (per 8 June)
- The report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea was published.
- The report notes with concern the “increased militarization of the country and the continued indefinite conscription of the population.”
- The report notes that the involvement of Eritrea in the war in Tigray continues, and moreover, that this has led to “the increase in round-ups (giffas), the recruitment of child soldiers and the kidnapping and forced conscription of Eritrean refugees to fight in the conflict.”
- The report notes continuing human rights violations including arbitrary detention. “The dismal human rights situation continued to push thousands of Eritreans to flee the country.”
- In addition, the abuses continue across borders, with the report noting “increased pressure placed by Eritrea on diaspora communities for fundraising purposes, as well as in an attempt to silence critical voices and political opposition.”
Regional Situation (per 8 June)
- The most recent report of a UN expert on human rights in Sudan, Adama Dieng, was published. The report notes the undermining of the human rights situation in Sudan. It notes that “the pattern of human rights violations observed since the coup is extremely worrying, including the repeated use of excessive and lethal force by the joint security forces to disperse peaceful protests, widespread arbitrary arrests and detention without respect for due process, and sexual violence.
- A report by Reuters, citing United Nations agencies, said nearly a quarter of a million people are facing starvation in Somalia as a drought worsens and global food prices hover near record high.
International Situation (per 8 June)
- A statement by US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, says the US welcomes progress in securing more regular access for humanitarian assistance to communities in need in the Afar, Amhara and Tigray regions and hopes that the momentum will advance to talks to reach an end to the conflict.
- The statement adds: “We also call for the immediate restoration of essential services in conflict-affected areas and support inclusive political process to provide security and prosperity for all Ethiopians, and accountability for human rights violations committed by all parties.”
Links of interest
Ethiopian government blocked Tigray famine declaration: Former Humanitarian Chief
MSF resumes medical humanitarian activities in Gambella and Somali states: Addis Standard
በአፋር ክልል በኩል ወደ ትግራይ ክልል ሲጓጓዝ የነበረ ከ5ሺህ ሊትር በላይ የሚገመት ህገወጥ ነዳጅ ተያዘ
U.S appreciated efforts by Federal and regional authorities to increase supply of aid
19 killed in clashes between Benishangul Gumuz forces and militants in Kamashi zone
Humanitarian assistance to communities in Northern Ethiopia: Press Statement
50th regular session of the Human Rights Council: Reports
Twitter: Recently released PoWs by Government of Tigray taken to a military camp in Afar
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