Peace negotiations (per 26 October)

  • The African Union issued an official statement regarding the beginning of the peace talks in South Africa.
  • Ethiopia’s team is headed by national security advisor Redwan Hussien and not by Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen.
  • Representatives of IGAD, the UN and the US  are participating as observers.
  • The AU says it is encouraged by the  “early demonstration of commitment to peace” of the parties.
  • Facilitators are former President of Nigeria Olusegun Obasanjo, former Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, and former Deputy President of South Africa Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.

Situation in Tigray (per 26 October)

  • Sources state that Tigray Defence Forces (TDF) have taken out more than 40 armoured vehicles of the joint Ethiopian and Eritrean forces  in a large defensive operation  in Gendebta, near the town of Adwa.
  • More military vehicles of the ENDF and EDF have been reported as destroyed around Almeda Textile Factory in Adwa town.
  • Sources state that Eritrean forces are doing house-to-house searches in Adwa, Tigray.
  • Pictures sent from Tigray show videos and images of victims of airstrikes in Adi Dearo, including children; they show destroyed buildings as well.
  • Sources state that news about fighting or capture of Mekelle Airport by Ethiopian/Eritrean forces is fake.
  • The Strategist discusses the impact of Turkish-made drones on the Tigray conflict; they believe they play a part in undermining motivation to end the conflict by allowing Abiy to score “cheap victories” while forcing the TDF forces underground.
  • It states  that due to the range and loitering capacity of the drones, the borders between TDF and ENDF controlled areas are becoming blurred; this encourages spreading of the conflict to areas beyond Tigray, as safe areas no longer exist.

Situation in Ethiopia (per 26 October)

  • Addis Standard reports that a member of the Somali region parliament and central committee of the ruling Prosperity Party, Juweria Subcis, was shot dead by (a) federal police officer(s) inside Jigjiga Airport in the region’s capital. Protests broke out after the killing.
  • Witnesses of the drone strikes in Ethiopia’s Oromia region said that the deadliest drone strike so far, on Sunday 23 October, occurred during a graduation ceremony for members of the OLA. Residents of West Shewa’s Chobi County were required to attend the ceremony.
  • A witness stated that the drone strike killed mostly civilians, as well as some OLA fighters.
  • The 2022 World Justice Project (WJP) Rule of Law Index revealed that Ethiopia’s overall Rule of Law score has decreased by 3.6% and the country now ranks 123rd out of 140 ranked countries worldwide. 
  • The main factors for the decline is the decrease in the score for order and security.
  • The Southern Police Commission says that a police officer from South Omo Zone who was trying to smuggle 48 Eritrean nationals including women and children into Kenya has been arrested.
  • Deputy Commander Taju Negash said that the Eritrean nationals were caught by regional forces on 18 October in Hamer district while trying to cross the border to Kenya.
  • The Deputy Commander said that the regional police commission will hand over the Eritrean refugees to the federal police and will launch an investigation into the incident.

Regional Situation (per 26 October)

  • Sudanese pro-democracy protests were met with violence from security forces when demonstrating on 25 October, on the anniversary of the military coup in 2021.
  • The internet was shut down in an attempt to limit mobilisation, but nevertheless tens of thousands of anti-coup protesters met in 19 towns across the country.
  • Security forces fired tear gas and stun grenades to disperse the crowd; one protester was run over and killed by a police car. This was counted as the 119th person killed in the demonstrations since the coup.
  • US officials ask the military-led government of Sudan to hand power to the civilian-led coalition. USAID states it stands ready to expand support to Sudan after the restoration of a civilian-led government.

International Situation (per 26 October)

  • The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken welcomed the start of the peace negotiations in South Africa.
  • The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum warns of heightened risk of genocide and further crimes against humanity in the Tigray region.
  • The Museum said that “multiple warnings signs of potential genocide against the Tigray people are present including reports of massacres and other targeted killings of Tigrayan civilians, dehumanization and hate speech—encouraging violence, mass arrests and arbitrary detention.”
  • “News of the peace talks are a positive step, but it is critical to recall that mass atrocities often continue to be perpetrated while negotiations are ongoing,” said Naomi Kikoler, Director of the Museum’s Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide.
  • A3 members of the UNSC were briefed by ICHREE on 25 October regarding the human rights abuses against civilians in northern Ethiopia, according to the permanent representative of Kenya at the UN.

Links of interest

Twitter: African Union peace talks to end the conflict in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia

Vredesgesprekken hopen einde te maken aan burgeroorlog in Ethiopië

ህፃናትን ጨምሮ 48 ኤርትራውያንን በህገወጥ መንገድ ወደ ኬንያ ሲያዘዋውር የነበረ የፖሊስ አባል በቁጥጥር ስር መዋሉ ተዘገበ

Somali region MP shot dead inside Jigjiga airport

Witnesses: Drone strikes in Ethiopia’s Oromia kill civilians

Ethiopia ranking World Justice Project

Turkish drones are destroying Ethiopia’s promise of peace

Twitter: Samantha Power Sudan’s military seized power from a civilian-led government.

In mass protests, Sudanese renew rejection of military coup

Tens of thousands of Sudanese protest on coup anniversary, protester killed

Secretary of State on the Start of Northern Ethiopia Peace Talks

Museum warns of heightened risk of genocide and mass atrocities in Tigray of Ethiopia

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 informati on and corrections.