Europe External Programme with Africa
SITUATION REPORT – HORN OF AFRICA
No. 224 – 17 June 2022
Situation in Ethiopia (per 17 June)
– A video has emerged of government security forces shooting repeatedly at an unarmed man whose hands are tied behind his back, which made rounds on several social media platforms on 16 June, Addis Standard reported.
– The recording is reportedly in the capital city of Gambella regional state where the joint forces of Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) and Gambella Liberation Front (GLF) announced that they were conducting an operation in the city of Gambella on 14 June.
– A source close to the victim told Addis Standard that: “11 people that we know were rounded up. Only one survived. The one you saw in the video was taken from his home and shot down. He was raised in Gambella city by his sister and lived here all his life.”
– Another resident of Gambella city said that government security forces were searching residences for alleged members of “Shene”, the government’s reference to the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), which has been designated as a “terrorist group” by the Ethiopian parliament.
– A statement by the Gambella state press issued on 14 June says government forces have been able to stabilise Gambella city after hours-long fighting against the joint armed group of OLA and GLF. It added that more measures were taken to “clear” and “totally eradicate” the remaining members.
– Another witness said that security forces shoot at “anyone who runs away from them”. They also target individuals that do not speak Amharic or Gambella. Afaan Oromo are especially targeted.
– Describing the current situation in the city, the witness said: “It is still very tense. We still aren’t able to leave our homes. The sound of gunshots has subsided. I wish they took suspects to the police station instead of executing them.”
– Save the Children Ethiopia said malnutrition rates across east and south-eastern Ethiopia have soared in recent months as drought, displacement and conflict take their toll with about 185,000 children estimated to be suffering from acute malnutrition.
– In the Somali region, malnutrition rates over the past 12 months have risen by 64%, with an increase of 43% between January and April 2022 alone. Cumulative cases of severe acute malnutrition have reached nearly 50,000 in the same three months.
– Save the Children’s Country Director in Ethiopia, Xavier Joubert said: “Children – especially small children – are bearing the brunt of a harrowing and multifaceted crisis in Ethiopia. A prolonged, expanding, and debilitating drought is grinding away at their resilience, already worn down by a gruelling conflict and two years of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Situation in Eritrea (per 17 June)
– The Special Rapporteur (SR) on Eritrea said he has continued to receive allegations of reprisal attacks, extrajudicial killings, sexual and gender-based violence, kidnappings, arbitrary detention and the looting of Eritrean refugee camps and property in Ethiopia.
– He added that Eritrean refugees were forcefully returned, detained, punished and forcibly conscripted by the same military forces they had fled from in Eritrea.
– The SR also said that there have been reports of the abuse, extortion and arbitrary detention of Eritrean refugees attempting to flee to safety by soldiers of the Ethiopian National Defence Forces and Amhara forces.
– Eritrean refugees also told the SR that as many Eritreans speak the Tigrinya language, they are often mistaken for Tigrayans and are discriminated against, harassed or attacked in other regions of Ethiopia.
– The SR added that violent attacks, the destruction of camps, insecurity and the dire humanitarian situation have forced Eritrean refugees in the Tigray and Afar regions to flee.
– He said tens of thousands of Eritrean refugees have been further displaced within Ethiopia, some suffering repeated episodes of forced displacement and thousands have also been pushed over the border to Sudan and other places.
– The SR stated that the heightened vulnerability of Eritrean refugees caught up in the conflict in the Tigray and Afar regions exposes them to increased risks of smuggling and human trafficking.
Regional Situation (per 17 June)
– WFP announced that it is forced to suspend food aid to South Sudan, after exhausting all options, and further drastic cuts will be inevitable unless more funding is received.
– Adeyinka Badejo, interim Director of the World Food Program (WFP) in South Sudan,’’We are extremely concerned about the impact of the funding cuts on children, women, and men who will not have enough to eat during the lean season.’’
– WFP’s crisis intervention and resilience-building programs are under-funded this year and need $426 million to reach six million food insecure people through 2022.
International Situation (per 17 June)
– The U.S Embassy in Eritrea says the United States has welcomed the progress in securing more regular access for humanitarian assistance to communities in need in the Afar, Amhara, and Tigray regions of Ethiopia and urged all actors to continue to build on this momentum and advance to talks to achieve a sustainable end of conflict.
– The Embassy added that all actors should also avoid inflammatory, bellicose rhetoric; respect the fundamental principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity, including the respect of internationally recognized borders; and seek to resolve differences through dialogue.
Links of interest