Situation in Tigray (per 23 September)

  • An airstrike hit the capital of Tigray, Mekelle, this morning (Friday 23 September). A hospital chief executive told Reuters that the airstrike killed one person.
  • The chief executive director of Ayder Specialized Hospital, Dr Kibrom Gebreselassie, said onTwitter that the drone strike hit a residential area near Desta Hotel around 4:30 AM resulting in civilian casualties. “We have received one dead body”, he added.
  • He told Reuters that the victim was a 60-year-old cattle herder who died on the way to hospital.
  • There have been at least five air strikes in Mekelle since fighting resumed on 24 August 2022.
  • In a talk, ENDF General Mohammed Tessema said the goal of the current ENDF offensive against Tigray is to separate the people of Tigray from the TPLF and to disarm the TDF.
  • He admitted the pace of the fighting is slower than expected and that fighting may take a long time.
  • Various media highlight that despite the invasion of Eritrea into Tigray this week, the large-scale conflict remains largely unnoticed by the world.
  • The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) calls the lack of insulin in Tigray “a humanitarian crime.”
  • The Ayder hospital warns that they only have a week’s supply of insulin left, which they are only using to treat acute complications of diabetes. A doctor at the hospital told The Guardian that people are coming from far away in hopes of getting insulin. “They are coming from very far places. Transport is not easy … So when they reach here and we tell them there is no insulin, they are heartbroken.
  • President of the IDF, Andrew Boulton, is urging Ethiopian health minister Lia Tadesse Gebremedhin to assure access and “fully comply with international law and ensure the necessary humanitarian access.”

Situation in Ethiopia (per 23 September)

  • Voice of America reporter Henry Wilkins visited a displacement camp in Debre Birhan where internally displaced persons from the Oromia region continue to arrive to flee the violence. 15.000 people now live in the camp. “We need aid,” a camp manager told VOA.
  • People are fleeing the fighting between the OLA and the Ethiopian government forces, but also from Amhara militia killing Oromo people.

Regional Situation (per 23 September)

  • UNHCR warns that the humanitarian needs for refugees and displaced people in Sudan are ‘spiralling’ amidst effects from the COVID-19 pandemic and extreme weather resulting from climate change.
  • UNHCR faces a severe funding gap in Sudan, as food and non-food prices have surged.
  • Sudan Tribune says that South Sudan has urged the UN to recognise the outcome of the Abyei referendum to join South Sudan held in October 2013.
  • The referendum was controversial and the results not recognised by South Sudan and Sudan alike; only Dinka Ngok participated in the referendum. Resolving the status of the region is seen as crucial to peace in both Sudan and South Sudan.

International Situation (per 23 September)

  • The report of the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia (ICHREE), which was published earlier this week, was presented to the UN Human Rights Council on 22 September.
  • The commission highlighted that the various violations of human rights from all sides in Ethiopia in the context of the conflict constituted crimes against humanity. They especially highlighted the continued blocking of aid despite the desperate situation in Tigray.
  • The commission noted that credible sources showed a current escalation of airstrikes in Tigray “with wide area effects in populated areas.”
  • In relation to sexual violence, the commission stated that rape and crimes of sexual violence had occurred “on a staggering scale […] with Ethiopian and Eritrean forces and regional militias targeting Tigrayan women and girls with particular violence and brutality”.
  • With regards to access, the commission regretted that “despite the Council’s request to all parties to provide the Commission with unhindered access, and the good will expressed during our mission, we deeply regret that the Federal Government did not grant the Commission access to any areas outside of Addis Ababa.”
  • European Commissioner Lenarčič held a speech in New York on 22 September in relation to accountability for sexual violence and other violations of international humanitarian law.
  • Lenarčič highlighted the situation in Ethiopia, “where sexual violence appears to have been used as part of a deliberate strategy to terrorize, degrade and humiliate the victims and the ethnic minority group that they belong to.”
  • He states that when it comes to sexual violence,  “much more needs to be done, both to support collection of evidence and accountability.”

Links of interest

Twitter: Dr Kibrom Gebreselassie, Chief executive director of Ayder Hospital

One killed in airstrike in Ethiopia’s Tigray: Reuters

‘Humanitarian crime’: fighting cuts off insulin supply in Tigray

Spiraling Violence in Ethiopia’s Oromia Region Sees Thousands Displaced

Ethiopia: Civilians again mired in intractable and deadly war, Human Rights Council hears

Invasion aus Eritrea: Tigray steht zwischen den Fronten

South Sudan urges UN to recognise Abyei referendum: Sudan Tribune

UNHCR warns of surging needs in Sudan amid skyrocketing prices and gaps in humanitarian funding

Ensuring accountability for Sexual Violence and other violations of International Humanitarian Law

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.