Situation in Ethiopia (per 11 July)

  • The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has submitted its first annual report on human rights violations to the House of Peoples’ Representatives.
  • The report states that all parties to the conflicts in Ethiopia have committed serious violations. This conclusion is a result of investigation, documentation and evaluation, covering the period from June 2021 to June 2022, says EHRC.
  • “[These violations] resulted in widespread deaths, psychosocial and physical injury, sexual and gender based violence, displacement and destruction of property”, writes the EHRC.
  • The report also writes that 9.000 Ethnic Tigrayans were deported from Kilbeti Resu Zone, Afar, in December 2021. They are being held in camps around Semera. It adds that “the limited access to/provision of humanitarian and medical care in the camps has resulted in the loss of lives.”
  • Between July 2021 and May 2022, 54 journalists were reported as being detained and arrested. 15 of those were held in Tigray.
  • The French ARTE Documentary Ethiopia: Tigray Humanitarian Crisis has been published with English subtitles. The documentary covers starvation and the humanitarian crisis in Tigray.

Situation in Eritrea (per 11 July)

  • Somali president Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud arrived in Asmara, Eritrea, for a four-day visit. Among others, Mohamoud visited Somali soldiers trained in Eritrea, with Eritrean President Isaias.
  • It is reported that the soldiers were sent to Eritrea for training three years ago, and former Somali President Farmaajo stated during his handover that the 5,000 soldiers completed their training in 2021, but had not been returned for political reasons.
  • Pictures on social media show the Somali soldiers paraded before the presidents. Observers question why the information of the soldiers was kept secretive, and how many have died.
  • Some observers on social media note that pictures of the parade show less than 2000 troops. It raises concern that some of the soldiers are missing.
  • The Prime Minister of Israel has approved the closure of the Israeli embassy in Eritrea. It is reported that the Eritrean authorities delayed the arrival of the Israeli ambassador for two years, despite approving his appointment.
  • The UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution on Eritrea extending the mandate of the Special Rapporteur for a year. It also calls on the Special rapporteur to present a report to the Human Rights Council and the UN General Assembly.
  • Eritrea’s Ministry of Information commemorates the fourth anniversary of the Eritrea-Ethiopia Declaration of Peace and Friendship, signed on July 9, 2018, stating that it marked the end of 20 years of war and hostilities. It blamed the war in Tigray on the TPLF.
  • The press release focused on five pillars of agreement signed in 2018: re-establishment of diplomatic, commercial, transport, and communications relations, partnership on all development issues, regional, international peace, and security.

Regional Situation (per 11 July)

  • US Secretary of State Antony Blinken tweeted that the stability and development of the Horn of Africa is dependent on respect for sovereignty, and that territorial integrity and the peaceful settlement of disputes are essential.
  • The head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), Nicholas Haysom, issued a statement calling on leaders to mobilise and reach agreement ahead of the next elections in 2023.
  • “The journey out of civil war has not been easy […] Now is the time for national leaders to redouble their efforts to agree on a roadmap – with clear benchmarks, timelines, and priorities – to pave the way towards free, fair and credible elections.” he said.
  • Haysom reiterated the UN’s commitment to serve peace and humanitarian access in South Sudan.
  • In a ceremony on Thursday 7 July, the new Apostolic Nunciature of South Sudan, located in South Juba, was blessed by Cardinal Parolin. Parolin said it symbolises the love of the pope for South Sudan. The Pope had to cancel/postpone a visit in early July due to a bad knee.

Situation in Sudan (per 11 July)

  • Sudanese pro-democracy groups formed a Revolutionary Council to oppose the military. It will consist of 100 individuals from different opposition groups, to solidify the opposition.
  • There has been doubt regarding the proposal by General al-Burhan to step down after the formation of a civilian government. Opposition groups say it is a “ruse” to distract public opinion.
  • In an opinion published by Asharq Al-Awsat, Sudanese journalist Osman Mirghani writes that the speech by al-Burhan was intended to create division between different opposition groups.
  • He adds that the higher military council al-Burhan aims to keep power over “sovereign functions, foreign policy, judicial appointments, and possibly even extending powers to the central bank.”

Links of interest