Situation in Tigray (per 30 September)

  • Two humanitarian workers confirmed to Bloomberg that six people died and 19 people were injured in an airstrike in Tigray on Tuesday 27 September. A fighter jet from the direction of Eritrea dropped a bomb 32 kilometres from the Tigray border with Eritrea.
  • The bomb hit a busy residential area in Adi Da’ero during the Meskel festival. Humanitarian sources have corroborated the video material showing the aftermath of the bombing which circulated on social media.
  • US military observers state that Eritrean and Ethiopian forces have not yet made significant gains along Tigray’s northern front this week.
  • According to satellite intelligence, Eritrean forces are stuck in Shiraro and Zalambessa; and sources note the eastern offensive has been stopped as well, seemingly with large loss of life.
  • Observers suspect the Eritrean army to be suffering from supply issues, particularly in Afar, due to the logistical challenge of maintaining troops in various locations.
  • The Eritrean Army’s usual practice of sustaining themselves on the land of occupied territories is not viable due to the absence of readily available food sources.
  • Several sources stated that ENDF is operating drones from Gondar in the Amhara region.
  • A statement issued by the Tigray External Affairs Office (TEAO) on 29 September says the Ethiopian and Eritrean governments continue to attack civilians through aerial bombardments.
  • The office said the international community is showing “willful indifference to these attacks” and that Tigray remains “committed to an immediate, negotiated cessation of hostilities”.
  • The Pensioners’ Association in Mekelle says 28 of its members have died due to blockade-induced starvation and lack of medication.
  • Tigray Media House reports that on 30 September, the Ethiopian airforce bombed Dedebit killing and injuring ceveral civilians in a residential area. (unverified)

Situation in Ethiopia (per 30 September)

  • During Meskel, Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed stated that  “Ethiopians must fight with both hands. One for development and food security. The other to ensure our security and national safety once and for all.” Observers believe it part of a narrative of national security meant to legitimise a long war.
  • Sources state that the Ethiopian troops currently in Eritrea are operating under Eritrean command. Furthermore, ENDF forces in Ethiopia are reportedly weakened. This could indicate increased dependence on Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki, observers indicate.
  • Sources believe this would likely be linked to a shrinking internal base of power for Ethiopian PM Abiy; stemming from a desire to avert the possibility of a military coup by separating Ethiopia’s best troops from its increasingly discontent command structure.

Situation in Eritrea (per 30 September)

  • Sources report that Eritrean troops are are requisitioning livestock to feed the army. They are doing this in conjunction with raids to collect conscripts. Observers warn this could constitute a hidden humanitarian crisis in Eritrea, where independent verification by UN actors is not possible due to travel restrictions.

Regional Situation (per 30 September)

  • Ethiopia and Somalia have asked the UN Security Council “to consider the request of the federal government of Somalia for the lifting of the arms embargo imposed on the country for over 30 years,” after both leaders of the countries met.
  • A joint communique was issued at the end of Somalia’s President Hassan Sheikh official two-days working visit to Ethiopia, and both leaders “agreed to work on specific priorities while focusing on key common issues paramount to the relationship of the two countries.”
  • Both leaders said that lifting of the arms embargo will ensure that Somalia is sufficiently equipped to effectively address the security threat posed by the Al Shabab and other terrorist groups.

International Situation (per 30 September)

  • United Nations Security Council members held an informal interactive dialogue (IID) on the situation in Ethiopia on Wednesday 28 September, from which Obasanjo, African Union (AU) Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, was absent.
  • Sources say that during the dialogue 3 positions emerged: US and Europe pushing for cessation of hostilities, dialogue and humanitarian access with UN involvement; African leaders insisting that all matters should be left to the AU; and countries including Russia, China, India, UAE and Brazil expressing concern but remaining quiet.
  • EU Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, gave a statement on the humanitarian situation in northern Ethiopia. He affirmed the EU’s alarm at the deteriorating humanitarian operating environment in northern Ethiopia since August.
  • Lenarčič  states the EU “calls on all belligerents to grant unhindered access to humanitarian organisations” without mentioning any specific actors.
  • The Director General of the  World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr. Tedros Adhanom, has condemned the repeated drone attacks on civilians in Tigray saying civilians should be protected.
  • He urged the Eritrean and Ethiopian forces to end the war, end the siege and provide access for humanitarian and health aid.

Links of interest

Twitter: TEAO statement on the Abiy and Isaias regimes’ aerial terrorism and contempt for peace

Twitter: Tigrai Television says 28 Pensioners’ have died

Twitter: WHO Chief, Dr Tedros Adhanom

Ethiopia’s Civil War Is Heating Up Once Again

Ethiopia and Somalia call on UNSC to lift Somalia arms embargo: Addis Standard

Ethiopia: Statement by Commissioner Lenarčič

Twitter: Tigrai Media House “#Ethiopian Air Force #Bombed the city of #Dedebit on 09/30/2022

Der vergessene schlimmste Krieg der Welt

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.