Situation in Tigray (per 29 August)

  • The TDF states that they captured Kobo, Weldiya, Gugudo, Fokisa, Zobl, Mendefera, Robit, Shiwoch Mariam, and Tuklosh. All these cities are in the Amhara region. The Ethiopian government contests these. While Al Jazeera has reported the TDF statements that it has captured Weldiya, the capture of the city has not been confirmed.
  • The ENDF announced that they are withdrawing from Kobo [BBC].
  • In a statement made on TigrayTV, a Tigray government-affiliated media, the TDF stated that 23 Ethiopian divisions, including Amhara Special forces and militia, are taking part in the fighting.
  • The TDF also states that a new front is being opened in Eritrea. It states that the ENDF eastern command has crossed into Eritrea and are camped in Awgaro. 
  • There have been multiple other reports that ENDF troops are crossing the border into Eritrea from Western Tigray.
  • The TDF statement adds that Tigray is still calling for peaceful settlement of the conflict through negotiations.
  • An Ethiopian airstrike killed at least seven people in Mekelle on Friday 26 August. UNICEF has said that the strike hit a kindergarten and has condemned the strike. The UNICEF chief said that the “escalation of violence in northern Ethiopia has caused children to pay the heaviest price.”

Situation in Ethiopia (per 29 August)

  • Addis Standard reports the City Administration of Weldiya and Dessie in the Amhara region have imposed restrictions on movements of people and curfews effective 28 August. The city Administration of Weldiya is denying that the TDF is in control.
  • Eyewitnesses told Deutsche Welle (DW) that Weldiya University students have left the university compound.
  • The Wolayta People’s Liberation Movement (WPLM) calls on all Wolaytans “not to join Abiy Ahmed’s genocidal project” against the people of Tigray as the renewed assault on the region escalates.

Regional Situation (per 29 August)

  • An ICC delegation, led by ICC prosecutor Karim Khan, has ended a five day visit to Sudan. The delegation visited Darfur and IDP camps located there. Khan says that the ICC has secured pledges from the Sudanese military government to cooperate in a war crimes tribunal in relation to Darfur.
  • There have been calls for the African Union Special Envoy, president Obasanjo, to resign following the failure to maintain the ceasefire in Tigray. Critics state the AU has been unable to get both parties to the negotiating table, and that it was unable to effectively provide relief to millions of people stuck in Tigray who suffered from humanitarian blockade during the first two years of the war.
  • Among these calls is an Op-ed from the Addis Standard, where Mehari Taddele Maru argues that Obasanjo does not inspire the confidence or trust to act as a mediator between the conflicting parties. This is especially in light of the many accusations that have been made against Obasanjo regarding his impartiality. He argues that a new mediator needs to be appointed.
  • The World Meteorological Organization says that the Greater Horn of Africa is facing its “fifth consecutive failed rainy season”. This has a severe impact on agriculture and regional food output. It warns that it is the longest drought in 40 years and that millions are being affected. 

International Situation (per 29 August)

  • EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, and European Union Commissioner for crisis management, Janez Lenarčič, have independently condemned the airstrikes against Mekelle which resulted in the death of civilians. Both urged respect for international humanitarian law and called for civilian lives to be protected.
  • Borrell added that humanitarian law violations cast a terrible shadow on the commitment made by the Government of Ethiopia to engage in peace negotiations.
  • The International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia violations has condemned the renewal of hostilities in Tigray. 
  • Eritreans in Switzerland protested against a ‘cultural’ festival organised by the Eritrean government in Switzerland on 27 August. NZZ Magazine reported that the location of the festival was kept unknown, and that buses were waiting to transport registered participants.
  • Protesters stated the festival was set up as a political and war propaganda event, part of a wider tour organised by the PFDJ in Europe.
  • Eritreans in the diaspora state the PFDJ is planning to organise another event in Giessen, Germany, where an earlier event was cancelled after serious protests with injuries, on 3 September.

Links of interest

Twitter: Tigray Defense Forces (TDF) captured the town of Weldiya- Al-Jazeera

Statement by the Tigray Army’s Military Command

Weldiya and Dessie cities in Amhara state impose curfew and movement restrictions: Addis Standard

Weldiya University students leaves the university compound: DW

Twitter: Statement by Wolayta People’s Liberation Movement

Twitter: Josep Borrell condemns airstrikes in Mekelle

Twitter: Janez Lenarčič condemned recent airstrikes in Tigray

Twitter: UN Ethiopia Human Rights Commission Statement

Ethiopia: airstrike hits playground in Tigray, killing at least seven

Twitter: Catherine Russell UNICEF airstrike Condemnation

Greater Horn of Africa faces 5th failed rainy season

TPLF oo durbaba magaalo kala wareegtay ciidammada dowladda [Somali]

ICC prosecutor ends visit to Sudan with promises of cooperation

Op-ed: Resignation is the honorable and right thing for President Obasanjo to do

Wo sammelt die eritreische Diktatur auf diesem Foto Geld ein, in Afrika oder im Wallis?

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