Peace negotiations (per 23 November)

  • General Tadesse Werede, Commander-in-Chief of the TDF, has confirmed that the disarmament of Tigray’s heavy weapons is conditional to the retreat of Eritrean and Amhara forces from the region.
  • He stated that TDF fighters were briefed on disarmament protocols and disengagement would follow in two to three days, with added margin depending on logistics.
  • According to Crisis Group there are “signs that Tigray’s leaders are wavering on the Pretoria accord’s critical terms” stating that this hesitation is due to “the deal’s lopsided nature”.
  • According to them Tigray’s leadership may be unwilling to relinquish power to federal authorities, which Crisis Group thinks could be linked to internal criticism following the Pretoria Cessation of Hostilities (CoH) agreement or positioning for future negotiations with Addis.
  • They also point to a federal slowing down of aid flows as a potential powder keg for future hostilities.
  • Crisis Group points to the absence of a shared vision for peace; Tigray seeking a break between Addis and Asmara when PM Abiy is unlikely to want to break from his Eritrean and Amhara allies.
  • They urge the AU and other relevant institutions to engage with Asmara in order to solidify the chances of success of the peace process as well as to favour a settlement of its border dispute with Ethiopia.
  • President Olusegun Obasanjo, the AU envoy to the Horn, wrote an opinion piece about his experience in bringing about the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement in Tigray.
  • Obasanjo also cited figures by the University of Ghent that “fewer than 600,000 people died” in the conflict due to war, starvation, and disease.
  • Obasanjo accused the TPLF of starting the conflict.

Situation in Tigray (per 23 November)

  • A report seen by EEPA by a local organisation in Adigrat details the situation in the North-Eastern zone of Tigray. It specifically covers the areas of  Gulomekeda, Gantaafeshum, Zalambessa and Irob.
  • Gulomekeda district, north of Adigrat, is under Eritrean control. Eastern Zone officials said that 54 people are confirmed dead, 21 kidnapped, and 14 critically injured by Eritrean troops in the last few days. IDPs have witnessed 15 killings by Eritrean troops in Oura village and 12 in Shewit Lemlem village.
  • Eritrean troops have been looting and burning houses down.
  • IDPs from Zalambessa, a town occupied by Eritrean since 2020, have been displaced to Fatsi and are now being displaced a second time to Adigrat due to limited support in food, healthcare, and shelter.
  • Gantaafeshum district is partially occupied by Eritrean forces. Officials from the area have said that 7 killings and 5 kidnaping have taken place. Looting is also taking place.
  • 8,660 individuals have been displaced from Gantaafeshum district to Adigrat.
  • In Irob District officials report 12 civilian killings, 18 kidnappings, and 4 critically injuries by Eritrean forces. Officials also report the destruction of 241 residential houses as well as the purposeful destruction of public infrastructure in Dewhan town. Dewhan town is also reportedly deserted, with inhabitants fleeing to nearby villages.
  • Similar killings, kidnappings, looting, and destruction caused by Eritrean troops, has been reported across the Eastern zone of Tigray. The Zonal Social Affairs Office says that a total of 160,000 IDPs have been displaced across the region, which includes the town of Adigrat.
  • The report states top priorities for aid directed to IDPs in Adigrat are food, medical supplies, vaccines for children, and shelter. Such assistance must be provided as soon as possible.
  • Ethiopian Airlines has said that it is preparing to resume flights to Tigray. The CEO of Ethiopian airlines said that Mekelle and Shire airports are in good condition and will be usable shortly. Axum airport however is damaged and requires repairs.
  • The CEO believes this will help provide humanitarian assistance to the region.

Regional Situation (per 23 November)

  • The Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) said on Tuesday 22 November that it will sign a proposed political declaration on the transition to a civil government and end military government. The political declaration supplements the proposed transitional constitution.
  • The SRF spokesperson Osama Saeed said that there is strong internal agreement about signing the political declaration.
  • According to Hiiraan Online, three soldiers were killed and 8 wounded in fighting between Puntland and Somaliland forces in the Buhudle district in Somaliland on 22 November. Puntland accuses Somaliland of sponsoring terror and criminal groups but denies wanting to escalate the situation into a conflict.

International Situation (per 23 November)

  • US Secretary of State Blinken has spoken with Ethiopian PM Abiy about the peace process with Tigray. Blinken “underscored” the importance of the peace agreement and the need for Eritrean troops to withdraw. He added the US is ready to help the process.
  • Dr. Michael Rubin, a Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), states in 1945 that while the US State Department and international community welcomed the CoH Agreement, the limited aid filtering into Tigray may indicate PM Abiy is only allowing it to take pressure off his government.
  • He warns not to let Abiy emulate Sadam Hussein’s instrumentalisation of the oil for food agreement.
  • He states the effort to take the pressure off may be succeeding as Abiy has now been invited to the US-Africa Leaders summit, of which he was initially not meant to be a guest.

Links of interest

Tigray forces commander says disarmament linked to Eritrean, Amhara forces withdrawal

Turning the Pretoria Deal into Lasting Peace in Ethiopia

Olusegun Obasanjo: How Ethiopia’s peace plan will work

Ethiopian Airlines says preparations underway to resume regular flights to Tigray region

Secretary Blinken’s Call with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy

EU donates €33 million (1.8 billion ETB) to UNICEF and WFP

SRF groups to sign political declaration for transition in Sudan: spokesman

Multiple casualties after Somaliland and Puntland forces clash

Don’t Let Abiy Ahmed Become the Next Saddam Hussein

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.