Situation in Tigray (per 18 July)

  • Tigray external affairs representative, Prof. Kindeya Gebrehiwot, told the Sudan Tribune that Tigray will appoint a negotiating team soon. He added that although the Ethiopian government says they want to end the war, their actions are opposite.
  • The BBC sat with Ms. Selam Teklay, a well-known model who fled Tigray to the UK to seek asylum. Selam said she had never considered leaving her home, but “all our dreams were shattered” because of the war in Tigray.
  • The BBC interviewed the WFP director for Northern Ethiopia, Adrian van der Knaap. He said that the WFP was able to reach 1.1 million people out of the 2.1 million planned. He said that since the humanitarian truce in April, nearly 4,000 trucks were allowed into Mekelle through the Semra-Mekelle corridor and more corridors need to open to reach more people.
  • Van der Knaap said that neither the Tigrayans nor the Ethiopians were currently blocking aid from reaching Tigray. He added that the aid arriving was an improvement, but “not enough”. 

Situation in Ethiopia (per 18 July)

  • Ethiopian President Sahle-Work Zewde met with the Ethiopian National Dialogue Commission on 16 July, who updated her on its activities since April and the future agenda. ” What Ethiopia needs is a new social contract”, she said, stressing that the process must be inclusive and transparent.
  • Refugees International says it was “deeply concerned about media reports that the Ethiopian government has rounded up more than 100 Eritrean refugees in and around Addis Abeba and forcibly moved them to the refugee camps near the unstable Amhara-Tigray border.”
  • It says Eritreans are often targeted by various perpetrators from all sides, and called on all actors to respect international law, and not to force refugees to return to potentially dangerous places.
  • The Ethiopian joint security and intelligence task force, comprising of several Ethiopian security agencies, released a statement saying that it will take actions against groups that attempt to achieve statehood demands through violence.
  • It added that the government is working to “restructure the zones under its administration.” There has been rising demand for the establishment of a new federal state in Southern Ethiopia, the South West Regional State.
  • The Chief Justice of the Federal Supreme Court of Ethiopia Meaza Ashenafi told the BBC that she is working on the establishment of a tribunal to address gender-based violence in what she said would be an objective and independent manner.

Situation in Sudan (per 18 July)

  • In a statement, Sudanese Brigadier General Nabil Abdallah Ali said that the Gallabat commercial crossing between Sudan and Ethiopia would reopen on 17 July. It follows discussions between the Ethiopian Prime Minister and the Sudanese leader.
  • General Nabil Abdallah Ali said the opening was “in return for the goodwill measures shown by the Ethiopian side to prevent the infiltration of armed elements into Sudanese territory”. Tensions between both countries have increased over a disputed border. Sudan accused the Ethiopian army of  executing Sudanese soldiers and a civilian on 27 June.
  • Authorities have declared an overnight curfew in two towns, following several days of tribal clashes in the Blue Nile State. Authorities report 31 dead and 39 injured, as well as the destruction of 16 shops since 13 July.

Regional Situation (per 18 July)

  • The African Union Heads of State and Government Coordination Summit began on 17 July in Lusaka, Zambia. The meeting will focus on food security, strengthening agriculture, accelerating the human capital, social and economic development of the continent.
  • Somali President Hassan Mohamud received Djibouti’s highest medal of honour on Saturday.
  • US lawmakers approved an amendment to the May 2022 Act including Somaliland in the US National Defense Authorisation. The amendment allows the US to further explore prospects for cooperation with Somaliland.
  • Somaliland envoy to the US Bashir Gorth said that “The Republic of Somaliland expresses its deep appreciation to the U.S. House Armed Services Committee for taking steps to bring about a stronger partnership between the U.S. and Somaliland”.
  • A joint statement by President Biden and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, following a meeting in Jeddah, declares that the GERD dam issue needs a diplomatic solution by respecting mutual benefit and without delay.

Links of interest