Peace negotiations (per 25 October)

  • Peace talks in South Africa started today, 25 October, instead of the earlier announced 24 October.
  • This was confirmed by the spokesman for South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Vincent Magwenya, who stated the talks have begun and are expected to continue until Sunday.

Situation in Tigray (per 25 October)

  • According to Amnesty International, Eritrean forces extrajudicially killed 40 people in Shiraro town between the 6 and 12 September.
  • According to Ethiopia map, the EDF have taken control of parts of the highway linking Adigrat to Mekelle and Adwa, including the city of Adigrat, and are continuing the advance along the road.
  • The same source states ENDF and EDF forces are pushing south from Adwa. They have reportedly captured Debre Genet and Legamity and are advancing towards May Kintal.
  • The Tigray government expects the following agreements on the peace talks in South Africa: 1. the immediate and unconditional cessation of hostilities; 2. unimpeded and unfettered humanitarian assistance to the entire people of Tigray irrespective of who controls which part; 3. access to independent international media and international human rights organisations to observe and monitor ongoing atrocity crimes; 4. the immediate and verifiable withdrawal of Eritrean forces from Tigray, so that the above agreements could work out – Eritrea should withdraw from Tigray immediately and without preconditions.

Situation in Ethiopia (per 25 October)

  • Addis Standard says that according to residents, a drone strike in Chobi district in the Ofu Bekke village of central Oromia region killed at least 68 people, including civilians, on 23 October. Over 100 people were reportedly injured. Another drone attack hit a school in the same district on 24 October; the number of victims is unknown.
  • Kush Media Network (KMN) says that 24 people were killed and 63 others injured after a drone strike hit a protestant church during a service on 23 October in the Chobi district.
  • International spokesman of Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), Odaa Tarbii, reported six drone strikes since 20 October. He stated that “the Abiy regime cannot be allowed to indiscriminately bomb civilians with impunity.” The OLF and OFC also point to the Federal government as responsible for the drone strikes. 
  • Mistir Sew, in Ethiopia Insight, states that truth is important for trust in the peace process and that there is evidence that the war in Tigray had been planned by Ethiopia, Eritrea and Amhara leaders, before the elections in Tigray in September 2020.
  • Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed called for action against actors involved in economic sabotage which he said were “the main obstacles” to his administration realising Ethiopia’s prosperity.
  • 185.000 people are internally displaced due to flooding following heavy rains from early August to October of this year in 12 woredas and the capital of the Gambella region, according to UNOCHA.Another 79,631 people were affected, though not displaced, by the flooding.
  • The UN said that those displaced are in dire situations, taking refuge in substandard and overcrowded shelters including schools and health facilities or out in the open.
  • The Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement for the anniversary of the foundation of the United Nations, stating their continued adherence to the principles of multilateralism but called for an efficient, viable and reformed United Nations fit for the 21st century.

Regional Situation (per 25 October)

  • South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir, will visit Sudan “in the coming days” to discuss a strengthening of bilateral relations; this is in continuation of the work of both nations in resolving the status of the Abyei region.

International Situation (per 25 October)

  • The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee sent an open letter to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy ahead of the peace talks in South Africa, welcoming the decision to participate and pushing for a ceasefire.
  • According to Amnesty International, the Ethiopian government shows insufficient commitment to avoiding casualties among and abuses of civilian populations.
  • Muleya Mwananyanda, Amnesty International’s Director for East and Southern Africa, states: “Promises, short of concrete actions, will not protect civilians. We’ve already seen in this conflict that impunity for war crimes and crimes against humanity and ethnic divisions fuel mass atrocities.”
  • Olusegun Obasanjo, chair of the AU mediation panel, has called for the immediate cessation of hostilities and stated that the AU led negotiations did not mean the AU would act by itself, welcoming assistance.
  • At the same time the AU has damaged its relationship with the EU, a major financial backer of the AU Commission and peace efforts, by not inviting them as observers to the talks, states Alex de Waal.
  • US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, calls for an end to military rule in Sudan; he also voiced US support for the Trilateral Mechanism and its continued efforts towards facilitating constructive dialogue.

Links of interest

Ethiopia’s Tigray conflict: Warring sides head to South Africa for peace talks

Ethiopia: Fears of fresh atrocities loom in Tigray as conflict intensifies

Twitter: Ethiopia Map The ENDF+EDF march on Mekelle

PM Abiy calls for decisive and swift measures against economic sabotage: Addis Standard

UN OCHA: Ethiopia Gambella region flood update

የአብይ አህመድ መንግስት በንፁሃን ላይ የአይር ድብደባ አካሄደ: KMN

The battle of narratives around the war in Tigray

Ethiopia Calls for Reformed, Efficient & Viable UN Fit for Purpose in 21st Century

Residents say drone strike killed dozens of civilians in West Shewa, Oromia region

South Sudan’s Kiir to visit Sudan for bilateral talks

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Urge Cessation of Hostilities in Ethiopia Ahead of Peace Talks

Ethiopia: Fears of fresh atrocities loom in Tigray as conflict intensifies

Will the US use its leverage now to end the killing in Ethiopia?

U.S. urges an end to military rule in Sudan

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