Europe External Programme with Africa


No. 223 – 16 June 2022

Situation in Tigray (per 16 June)

–           The Ethiopian Disaster Risk Management Commission announced that of the 3297 vehicles sent to Tigray with humanitarian aid, 1128 have not returned.

–           In addition, 236 flights were carried out between Addis Ababa and Mekelle for humanitarian purposes. This assistance was delivered by 95 partner organizations.

Situation in Ethiopia (per 16 June)

–           Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Demeke Mekonnen, held talks with David Beasley, Executive Director of the World Food Program (WFP), and Matilda Ernkrans, the Minister of International Cooperation of Sweden, on humanitarian supplies to conflict and drought-affected people, accountability issues in the conflict in Northern Ethiopia, and trust-building steps taken by the Government of Ethiopia.

–           David Beasley and Matilda Ernkrans commended the peace initiatives of the Government of Ethiopia, underlining the importance to peace and stability of the region.

–           The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Ethiopia said that large scale seed distribution has been done in different regions in Ethiopia, reaching 390,000 individuals.

–           Distributions were made in Oromia, Amhara, Somali and Tigray regions which include seeds along with agro cash or fertilizer to ensure cultivation in the coming agricultural season.

Situation in Eritrea (per 16 June)

–           The Special Rapporteur on Eritrea says he has heard testimonies of persons who had recently visited Eritrea. One of them described the fear during the giffas: “There was nobody in the streets of Asmara. My family members, everyone is scared to go out. They were taking the kids. They go home by home and take everyone, only leaving mothers behind. This is happening in all towns and villages. They pick everyone up in the giffa and then sort them out.”

–           The Special Rapporteur has also observed a worsening pattern of forced conscription of children. The SR has collected testimonies regarding the rounding up of children, with some witness accounts referring to the conscription of children as young as 14 years old.

–           The Special Rapporteur also received information from credible sources regarding the deployment of Eritrean children in military combat in Tigray. Most of the children deployed were 16 and 17 years old, with limited training, ranging from 1 to 6 months of military instruction.

–           According to reports received by the Special Rapporteur, a large number of children were allegedly injured or killed during the early stages of the conflict, and dozens sustained grave injuries causing disabilities

Regional Situation (per 16 June)

–           Somalia’s President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has appointed lawmaker Hamza Abdi Barre as the country’s prime minister.

–           The 48-year-old MP from the semi-autonomous state of Jubaland replaces Mohamed Hussein Roble.

–           Irish Development and humanitarian organizations have called for greater political action on severe hunger in the Horn of Africa at a briefing to Irish politicians in Dublin on 14 June.

–           The organizations said around 23 million people face severe hunger in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya this year and one person is likely dying from hunger every 48 seconds in the region. Nearly 5.7 million children are acutely malnourished in the region and in Somalia, 350,000 children could die by the end of summer according to the recent UN predictions.

–           “The threat of famine in the 21st century is, above all, a political failure. We are now facing the consequences of years of inaction. The failure to address the deadly combination of climate change, conflict and the economic consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic has left the region in extreme crisis,” said Jane-Ann McKenna, CEO of Dóchas.

–           10 years ago, despite Irish NGOs sounding the alarm on famine in the Horn of Africa, a delayed international response led to the death of over 250,000 people.

International Situation (per 16 June)

–           Ethiopian Justice Minister visits Brussels ahead of the European Foreign Affairs Council meeting.

–           European Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, said: “Important meeting with Ethiopian Justice Minister Timotheos on the humanitarian situation in the country, especially the need to allow for full humanitarian access to Tigray or any other region with people in need.” He added that the EU continues to stand with the people of Ethiopia.

–           The President of the UN Human Rights Council, Ambassador Federico Villegas, said it has decided to appoint Kaari Betty Murungi, who has been serving as a member of the Council-created Commission of Human Rights on Ethiopia, as new Chairperson of the Commission on Ethiopia with immediate effect.

–           The President of the Human Rights Council is expected to appoint a third member of the Commission in the coming days. The Commission is scheduled to deliver its first update on 30 June.

Links of interest

Foreign Minister Demeke met with WFP Executive Director and Sweden International Cooperation Minister

Twitter: Large scale of seed distributed to different regions in Ethiopia: ICRC Ethiopia

Human Rights Council President Appoints Kaari Betty Murungi to Serve as New Chairperson of Ethiopia Commission

Twitter: EU Commissioner for Crisis Management met Ethiopia’s Justice Minister

Ethiopian Press Agency: Ethiopian Disaster Risk Management Commission

A/HRC/50/20: Situation of human rights in Eritrea – Report of the Special Rapporteur on situation human rights in Eritrea

Somalia’s President appoints lawmaker Hamza Abdi Barre as PM

Horn of Africa crisis – Irish charities come together to Sound the alarm as famine looms

Abiy sends team to Brussels in bid to emerge from EU’s bad books