Situation in Tigray (per 27 September)

  • Reported that Eritrean troops have been shelling the Irob district of eastern Tigray in the past days.
  • Sources on the ground report that an aerial strike was carried out in the town of Shire in northwestern Tigray today (27 September) in the morning. Casualties are not yet known.
  • Think tank Sahan criticises the Ethiopian government for its non-discriminant targeting of civilians, especially through drones, stating they “lack any sort of tactical or strategic logic.”
  • Dr. Kibrom Gebreselassie, Chief Executive Director of Ayder Specialised Hospital in Mekelle, says two patients with diabetes mellitus have died at the hospital due to lack of insulin.
  • In an article by The New Yorker’s Jon Lee Anderson, Tigray spokesperson Getachew Reda says his house was targeted in two drone strikes hitting Mekelle two weeks ago. Getachew had narrowly escaped, while the attack killed 9 people.
  • The attack followed a phone call that Getachew Reda made. He stated to Jon Lee Anderson that it was not safe for him to be on the phone.

Situation in Ethiopia (per 27 September)

  • The Ethiopian Finance Intelligence Service (FIS) warns of money transfer actors involved in unlawful money transfer practices. This comes as the Birr hits its worst exchange rate with the dollar, going as low as 92 Birr per dollar on the black market, according to the Addis Standard.
  • The FIS accuses certain money transfer agencies of falsifying operations to keep their foreign currency reserves outside of Ethiopia, depriving the country of  foreign currency.
  • The Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, his holiness Abune Matias, called for an end to the ongoing conflict during his Demera festival address.
  • Reuters reports that the Meskel festivities were overshadowed by the war, and the turnout was low.

Situation in Eritrea (per 27 September)

  • Eritrean opposition news source Radio Erena states that theft and looting have increased in the capital of Asmara in Eritrea, as electrical services have been inconsistent, leaving many areas dark.

Regional Situation (per 27 September)

  • The Asmlash-Grant Foundation calls attention to the spread of the monkeypox virus in Sudanese refugee camps. 61 cases were reported in Tenedba and 2 suspected cases in Rakuba.
  • After consultations, Eritrea announces it will join Sudan in convincing the South Sudan Opposition Movement Alliance to join the revitalised South Sudan peace agreement.
  • Sudan and South Sudan leaders commit to peace and stability in the contested region of Abyei.

International Situation (per 27 September)

  • At a US Department of State press briefing, spokesperson Ned Price stated that the US has “been very clear with Eritrea and Eritrean authorities that they must withdraw to their borders immediately and for Eritrea and others to cease fueling the conflict.”
  • Price stated that the US is doing everything to assure that the African Union-led diplomatic efforts lead to an end to the violence.
  • Price also announced a desire to re-engage with Ethiopia within the AGOA framework under the condition that “the conditions that led to that suspension are reversed”.
  • The United Kingdom calls for Eritrean troops to leave Tigrayan territory to create room for negotiation. Eritrea continues to deny any involvement in the region.
  • In a blog post, Alex de Waal analyses four texts from key international actors in relation to the conflict in Ethiopia.
  • De Waal states that the Special Envoys of the EU and the US assume that Ethiopia could rapidly return to normal with the right encouragement, and he accuses US envoy Mike Hammer of not conveying the seriousness of the conflict.
  • De Waal accuses UNOCHA of blaming drought instead of forced starvation for the humanitarian crisis in northern Ethiopia.
  • De Waal states that the most problematic statement by AU High Representative Olusegun Obasanjo is his proposal for  Eritrea to be represented formally at the peace talks. De Waal states that such a proposal, in absence of a clear definition of Eritrea’s role in the conflict, risks signalling that Eritrea’s involvement is legitimate.
  • Think tank Sahan warns that continuing to see the conflict in Ethiopia as a ‘civil war’ blinds many governments from recognising the conflict as regional, and as threatening national security interests in the Horn of Africa.
  • Human Rights Watch outlined reasons why the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia’s mandate should be renewed, as it is a key mechanism to contribute to accountability for past and ongoing human rights abuses.

Links of interest

Twitter: Dr. Kibrom Gebreselassie, Chief Executive Director of Ayder Specialized Hospital

Twitter: Eritrean troops bombed the Irob district in Tigray

FIS warns agencies and local actors to refrain from illegal money transfer activities: Addis Standard

Under the Cover of Darkness: Asmara Suffers from the Spread of theft

Did a Nobel Peace Laureate Stoke a Civil War?

How the International Community is Betraying Tigray—and its Principles

Shadow of war hangs over Ethiopia’s Meskel festival celebrations

Department of State Daily Press Briefing – September 26, 2022

Twitter: Asmlash-Grant Foundation Monkeypox virus hits refugee camps in eastern Sudan

Eritrea, Sudan to talk to South Sudan’s holdout groups

Patriarch calls for peace, reconciliation in Demera festival message

UK calls for immediate exit of Eritrea soldiers from Tigray

Department of State Daily Press Briefing

Q & A: Renewal of the Mandate of the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia

Sudan, S. Sudan to cooperate with U.N over peace in Abyei