Peace negotiations (per 27 October)

  • Observers state that the AU has seized the opportunity to create a genuine peace process in Ethiopia.
  • They say that the leadership of the host (South Africa) and the mediators, Uhuru Kenyatta and Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, have been a positive addition to strengthening the AU-led peace process.
  • There is hope that the outcome of an immediate ceasefire and long-lasting end of fighting should be a real possibility.
  • Observers state that Ethiopian and Eritrean forces do not have the upper hand in Tigray, as the shift in more mobile fighting favours TDF strategies, noting that the human costs to all parties involved is high.
  • The pressure to deliver a pathway to peace through negotiations is thought to be increased by the conviction, of those closely involved, that a military solution is not possible.
  • Observers also state that the US appears to be playing a supportive role in creating a conducive environment for the talks.
  • Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with UAE President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. They discussed the need for an immediate cessation of hostilities in Northern Ethiopia.
  • There are questions raised on the invisible role of the EU and member states in the peace process.

Situation in Tigray (per 27 October)

  • Will Ross from BBC News Africa says that heavy fighting is taking place on several fronts in Tigray.
  • According to Ross, a senior military commander from the Tigray Defense Forces (TDF) told the BBC that the clashes near the town of Adwa involve heavy artillery and tanks.
  • Ross said that the outcome of the fighting near the town of Adwa will determine who controls the two roads leading to the capital of Tigray, Mekelle.
  • He added that clashes involving Eritrean forces near the border with the Afar region were also reported.
  • Ayder Comprehensive Specialised Hospital in Mekelle calls on the world medical community for emergency support, as there are no rapid diagnostic tests, no CD4 count, a test helping determine the readiness of the immune system, and no HIV medicines to provide to patients.
  • The hospital said that HIV victims in Tigray region have been cast aside due to the siege imposed by the Ethiopian government and close to 40% of HIV patients have dropped out from regular care.
  • Since January 2022, the International Committee of the Red Cross has provided the opportunity for individuals in Tigray to make 185.000 free phone calls and message deliveries to reach family members from which they have become separated.

Situation in Ethiopia (per 27 October)

  • Ethiopian federal police arrested 26 individuals accused of “illegal money transfer and forex trade in collaboration with the TPLF”.
  • Satellite images captured by Planet, operating image capturing satellites, show Turkish-made Bayraktar TB-2 drones at Bahir Dar airbase in the Amhara region on 21 October 2022, presumably used in drone strikes in Tigray.

Regional Situation (per 27 October)

  • The UN reports that at least 250 people have been killed in clashes last week over land in the Blue Nile State of Sudan. Tens of thousands of people have been displaced.
  • Three people were killed by security forces in Ad-Damazin, in the Blue Nile region. Fakhr al-Din Alobeid, a civil society activist, believes this occurred when the army and Rapid Support Forces fired live ammunition at tribal groups after destroying their barricades.
  • According to the UN, around 1 million of the 7 million Somalis affected by the ongoing drought in Somalia live in Al-Shabab controlled areas.
  • The UN is currently negotiating a means to access these populations, potentially via private actors.
  • The Somali Disaster Management Agency announces Northern Somalia will be receiving the normal seasonal average volume of rain this week (10 to 100 mm); other areas of the country are predicted to receive 1 to 30mm.
  • Médecin Sans Frontières (MSF) warns that the influx of Somali refugees into Dadaab camp in Kenya could lead to overcrowding. This could lead to outbreaks of diseases such as cholera and measles.
  • MSF calls on the international community to help provide vaccines.

International Situation (per 27 October)

  • Tigrayans living in the diaspora continue to demonstrate against aerial bombardments and artillery shellings of civilian targets in the Tigray region.
  • The Tigrayans Diaspora in the UK held demonstrations on 26 October urging countries such as the United Arab Emirates and Turkey to stop funding the Ethiopian and Eritrean forces campaign in Tigray.
  • Bobby Ghosh comments that the “US should brace for a humanitarian disaster” in Tigray if the peace talks fail.

Links of interest

Twitter: Will Ross, BBC News Editor, Africa Region

An appeal to the world medical community for emergency support: Ayder Hospital

Red Cross reunites families with 185,000 calls and messages in Ethiopia

Ethiopian federal police alleged possession of more than five billion birr illegally, money laundering

Twitter: Wim Zwijnenburg satellite imagery by @planet shows two Bayraktar TB-2 drones at Bahir Dar airbase

Sudan: Deadly protests as demonstrators mark one year since military coup

Security forces kill three people in troubled Blue Nile area

Blue Nile Area: Triggers of the tribal conflict

UN: Almost 1 million drought-hit Somalis in al-Shabab areas

Northern Somalia to Receive 10-100mm of Rain This Week

High risk of outbreaks amid poor living conditions for newly arrived refugees in Dadaab

Twitter: Tigrai Media House

Secretary Blinken’s Call with United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan

Biden Must Prepare for the Worst in Ethiopia

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