Situation in Tigray (per 16 December)

  • Dimtsi Woyane reported that Eritrean and Amhara troops killed more than 550 civilians and raped an unknown number of women in central zone including Maykinetal, Hahayle, Embasneiti, Ahferom, Enticho, Egela, Adwa city, Ahsaa and Rama Adi Arbaete.
  • The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) stated that the status of humanitarian access to Tigray has continued to improve since the Cessation of Hostilities (CoH) Agreement.
  • OCHA states that in some areas, electricity and telecommunications were restored, such as in Shire and Axum.
  • US citizens from Tigray are being held and interrogated at the Addis Ababa airport as they try to leave the country, as stated in leaked e-mails from US officials seen by AFP.
  • The Ministry of Education of Ethiopia announced that teaching will resume in conflict-affected areas of northern Ethiopia in the coming five months with the assistance of humanitarian organisations.

Situation in Ethiopia (per 16 December)

  • Hundreds of thousands of civilians have fled the violence in Oromia, according to regional authorities.
  • According to OCHA the Amhara regional authorities have reopened the Jara IDP site and the Turkish site to accommodate the flow of refugees from Oromia.
  • OCHA states that in Oromia, particularly Western Oromia, the security situation is deteriorating. Essential services, including electricity, mobile network, health facilities, banks and markets, are shut.
  • The conflict in Oromia has posed logistical issues in the provision of assistance to communities in the Benishangul Gumuz Region.
  • OCHA states that outbreaks of malaria and measles are increasing in the Afar region. Measles cases have been reported in the woredas of Adar, Dalifage, Gelalo, Hadele’ala and Mille, proving deadly when combined with malnutrition.

Situation in Eritrea (per 16 December)

  • According to Assena TV, President Isayas Afeworki had a meeting with five officials of the Eritrean immigration agency and stated that all Eritreans will have to obtain a new passport next year.
  • Assena added that the government will reportedly charge 150 USD per passport for adults and 100 USD for minors. The passport reportedly gives Eritreans rights to freely enter the country, but for exit, they will still require an exit visa.

Regional Situation (per 16 December)

  • The Sudan Tribune reports that the Sudanese-Ethiopian Joint Technical Committee held a meeting on 14 December to discuss the feasibility of a railway link between Addis Ababa and Port Sudan.
  • According to the Somalia NGO Consortium, 8.3 million people in the country are expected to face severe or acute food insecurity by June 2023 if sustained assistance is not given before March 2023.
  • Regions expected to reach famine status are some rural areas of Baidoa and Burhakaba of Bay Region, and internally displaced communities in IDP settlements in Baidoa and Mogadishu.
  • Most of the south and central Somalia regions will face severe acute malnutrition.

International Situation (per 16 December)

  • US Senator Chris Van Hollen, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Africa, met Prime Minister Abiy.
  • They discussed the need for good faith in implementing the CoH Agreement, the withdrawal of Eritrean forces from Tigray, restoration of services and international monitoring of compliance and the need for a transparent transitional process.
  • Van Hollen also stated the US supported a political resolution of the conflict in Oromia.
  • US Congressperson Brad Sherman stated that he discussed avenues of pressuring Eritrea to remove its troops from Tigray with Secretary of State Blinken.
  • Sherman stated that ships could be prevented from supplying Eritrea with luxury goods, other than food and medicine.
  • Brad Sherman said he discussed Eritrea’s departure from Tigray with “many African heads of state”.
  • Hundreds protested the presence of PM Abiy at the US-Africa Leaders summit.
  • The US Department of State reports that Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Kenyan President William Ruto on 15 December. They reiterated the importance of their strategic partnership. Blinken expressed gratitude for Kenya’s contribution to the UNSC and role in addressing crises in the region.
  • Turkey submitted a military agreement signed with Ethiopia in 2021 to parliament for approval, says Nordic Monitor. It seeks to improve military relations and intelligence sharing with Ethiopia.
  • Turkish opposition lawmakers criticised the deal stating it is inconsistent with efforts to have better relations with Egypt due to differing positions on the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.
  • According to Amnesty International, Saudi authorities have been forcibly returning hundreds of thousands of Ethiopian migrants after arbitrary detention in inhumane conditions due to their undocumented status.

Links of interest

Ethiopia – Situation Report, 15 Dec 2022

Resumption of education in northern Ethiopia

US citizens trapped in Tigray, detained in Addis Ababa

Sudan, Ethiopia joint committee discusses railway connecting two countries

Looming Famine in Somalia: Key Messages December 2022

This week, I had a chance to engage… – Congressman Brad Sherman

Turkey to ratify a military agreement with Ethiopia amid rapprochement efforts with Egypt

Secretary Blinken’s Meeting with Kenyan President Ruto

Biden Courts African Leaders, but Some Are Skeptical of Big Promises

Van Hollen Statement on Meeting with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed

Saudi Arabia: Ethiopian migrants forcibly returned after detention in abhorrent conditions

Eritrea to issue a new passport next year

Eritrean and Amhara troops killed more than 550 civilians in Tigray, DW

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.