Situation in Tigray (per 21 September)

  • Central Command of the Government of Tigray released a statement regarding a new large-scale offensive which was reportedly launched on 20 September from Tekeze to Irob by Eritrea and the Ethiopian federal government and its allied troops.
  • The statement says the Ethiopian federal government mobilised the Eastern Command, parts of North-Western Command and three commando divisions, accompanied by Amhara forces and Eritrean troops.
  • Reported that Tigray Defense Force (TDF) have encircled or recaptured Addi Arkay, a town in the North Gondar Zone of Amhara region bordering Tigray.
  • The Ethiopian forces and allied militia have reportedly retreated to Zarima, 40km south-west of Addi Arkay.
  • EthiopiaMap warns the situation around Addi Arkay and Mai Tsemre is currently impossible to map due to disinformation.
  • Fides was told by a local Church official that “the situation of the civilian population [in Tigray] is dramatic, the worst offensive since the conflict.”
  • The church official fears that the Eritrean troops plan to conquer Axum, Adigrat, Shire and Mekelle.
  • The Global Society of Tigray Scholars and Professionals (GSTS) urges the European Commission to request member states deliberate on the Tigray war in UNSC and UNGA formal sessions.
  • GSTS asks the EU to request member states in UNSC to refer the Ethiopian situation to the International Criminal court (ICC) emphasising the outcomes of the report of International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia (ICHREE).

Situation in Ethiopia (per 21 September)

  • Addis Standard reports that Zemene Kassie, a prominent Fano militia leader, has been arrested by Amhara state police in Bahir Dar, capital of the regional state.
  • Zemene had been evading authorities as regional and federal security forces targeted members of the Fano over the past months.
  • The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) demanded Ethiopian authorities release Abay Zewdu, chief editor of Amara media Center (AMC); Muthoki Mumo, CPJ sub-Saharan Africa representative, accuses Ethiopian authorities of eroding press freedom in the country by incarcerating journalists and eliminating space for criticism.
  • Ethiopia terminates oil exploration contract with Chinese firm PLOY-GCL, says Addis Standard.

Situation in Eritrea (per 21 September)

  • Eritrean Information Minister Yemane Gebremeskel denied the mass conscription in Eritrea during a press conference on Monday 19 September.
  • In an interview with journalist Ulrich Coppel, Yemane Gebremeskel also added that “[s]ome reservists were called up, but that’s a tiny number.”
  • He also states that Eritrea has no interest in the Tigray region, but that it has a right to self-defence and will respond to TPLF attacks, if any.

Regional Situation (per 21 September)

  • The Darfur Lawyers Association reveals that at least 109 people are being illegally detained in Port Sudan prison by the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).
  • The 109 are part of a larger group arrested by the West Darfur government over the last three years due to clashes. They have been moved to Port Sudan and are held without trial, says the Sudan Tribune.
  • The lawyer’s association, along with another detainee defence group, added that detainees were subjected to serious human rights violations, including torture, by military intelligence before being transferred to prison.
  • Sudan Tribune says South Sudan has acquired three acres of land in the port of Djibouti for the construction of a facility to handle the import and export of goods.

International Situation (per 21 September)

  • The US special envoy for the Horn of Africa, Mike Hammer, said that the US is aware of Eritrean troops crossing into Tigray and condemned these movements.
  • He adds that “all external foreign actors should respect Ethiopia’s territorial integrity and avoid e fuelling the conflict.”
  • The US envoy urges those with direct contact to Asmara to push for respect of Ethiopian integrity adding that the Eritrean military presence in Ethiopia only complicates the situation.
  • The government of Canada condemned the reported movement of Eritrean forces across the border into Tigray and urged all parties to find a path towards peace and stability in the region.

Links of interest

Twitter: Tigray External Affairs Office

ዓዲ ኣርቃይ ከትግራይ መከላከያ ሰራዊት ጋር የዓዲ ኣርቃይ ህዝብ የእለት እለት እንቅስቃሴው እያካሄደ ይግኛል

Twitter: Tigray forces retake strategic town of Addi Arkay

Twitter: GSTS requests the EU to respond to the Tigray conflict and war

Africa/Ethiopia: Tigray: The worst offensive in recent times, an emergency for hundreds of thousands

Amhara state police detain Zemene Kassie, Fano militia leader: Addis Standard

Ethiopian journalist Abay Zewdu remains detained after court grants bail: CPJ

Ethiopia terminates contract with Chinese POLY-GCL: Addis Standard

Eritrean Gov’t Spokesman on Recent Reports of ‘Mass Mobilization’

South Sudan acquires Djibouti port land for imports, exports

Over 100 Darfurians unlawfully held by RSF in Sudan’s remote prisons

The U.S. says it’s aware of Eritrean troops in northern Ethiopia: Reuters

Twitter: Canada deplores movement of Eritrean troops across border with Tigray

Disclaimer: All information in this Situation Report is presented as a fluid update report, as to the best knowledge and understanding of the authors at the moment of publication. EEPA does not claim that the information is correct but verifies to the best of ability within the circumstances. Publication is weighed on the basis of interest to understand potential impacts of events (or perceptions of these) on the situation. Check all information against updates and other media. EEPA does not take responsibility for the use of the information or impact thereof. All information reported originates from third parties and the content of all reported and linked information remains the sole responsibility of these third parties. Report to any additional information and corrections.