Peace negotiations (per 22 December)

  • BBC Amharic reported that the peace negotiation teams of Ethiopia and Tigray met on 21 December in Nairobi for a three-day summit focused on the AU monitoring mechanisms and disarmament.

Situation in Tigray (per 22 December)

  • Mekelle Ayder hospital reported receiving 700 insulin vials from the International Committee of the Red Cross two weeks ago. The hospital is now out of stock once again.
  • According to Tghat Media, the reopened banks in Shire do not allow cash withdrawals, only deposits and cash transfers abroad are available.
  • According to Tigray Television Eritrean forces continue to impair aid delivery in Tigray. Tigray Television states that reports of atrocity crimes attributed to Eritrean forces are continuously arriving.
  • AP News reports on the emotional ups and downs coming with the first phone calls in a year and a half after the restoration of services in certain areas of Tigray under Ethiopian federal government control.
  • The Tigray Branch of the Ethiopian Red Cross stated it is unable to deliver aid and services due to a lack of medicine and other logistical challenges. The situation is made worse by the lack of communication services preventing the establishment of a proper inventory of their distribution locations.

Situation in Ethiopia (per 22 December)

  • The Oromia regional state has announced that it is preparing to take “organised law enforcement measures” against the OLA and has called on the support of the public in its endeavour, says Addis Standard. The announcement came after a 21 December meeting of local officials in Bedelle town.
  • The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission and United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights presented the preliminary findings of community consultations in Afar, Amhara, Harar, Oromia and Somali regions, and Dire Dawa city administration, from July to December 2022.
  • The document outlines the principles that should underline the transitional justice process.
  • The consultations in Tigray planned for August were postponed due to the resurgence of fighting. Displaced Tigrayans participated in the Amhara and Afar consultations.
  • Participants are reported to have “unanimously agreed on the relevance and timeliness of pursuing a contextualised national TJ [transitional justice] process”. Participants also stated interest in basing the process on “existing unique Ethiopian cultural/religious/community values and practices”.
  • The consultation identified two first priorities of the victims; first and foremost, peace and security and secondly, reparations in order to ensure the fulfilment of their basic needs.
  • The Committee to Protect Journalists is calling on the Ethiopian government to “unconditionally release” Meskerem Abera, a journalist twice detained this year, and to cease “harassing members of the press”.

Situation in Eritrea (per 22 December)

  • Assena TV states that roundups of all age groups for the national service continue on a “huge scale” in Eritrea.

Regional Situation (per 22 December)

  • Former Sudanese leader Omar al-Bashir acknowledged his responsibility in the 1989 coup during his trial on 20 December. He is charged with leading a military coup and potentially faces a death sentence.
  • According to the South Sudan Humanitarian Response Plan 2023, 9.4 million South Sudanese people are expected to need humanitarian assistance and protection in 2023. This is 76% of the population and a 5% increase from 2022. 64% are expected to suffer from severe food insecurity.
  • Violence in South Sudan, especially intercommunal violence present in 7/10 states, accounted for 60% of civilian casualties in 2022. These attacks directly resulted in 257.000 people being displaced.
  • The United Nations Humanitarian Chief released $14 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund for humanitarian assistance to 262.521 people affected by violence and flooding in South Sudan.
  • The UN has called for “urgent” support for Somali rural communities facing famine. They state that there is a need for “large-scale investment in resilience and livelihood support […] to break the hunger cycle”.
  • Etienne Peterschmitt, UN FAO Representative in Somalia, stated that while current levels of humanitarian aid could help prevent “extreme outcomes”, they are not sufficient to prevent a famine.

International Situation (per 22 December)

  • A statement by the High Representative on behalf of the EU says that the Cessation of Hostilities (CoH) Agreement allows for a resumption of development projects between Ethiopia and the Union.
  • This is conditional to concrete progress on the implementation of the CoH Agreement.
  • The statement calls for Ethiopia’s neighbours to “constructively contribute to the full implementation of the CoHA” and for unrestricted humanitarian access to aid civilian populations.
  • The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum warns that, despite the CoH Agreement, the risk of “atrocities” remains high in Ethiopia. They call on the international community to remain vigilant during the implementation process and respond quickly to any atrocities.
  • Mohamed Chande Othman was appointed by the UN Human Rights Council as the chairperson of the Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia following the resignation of Kaari Betty Murungi.

Links of interest

Peace negotiations in Nairobi

Mekelle Ayder Hospital runs out of Insulin again

Recently opened banks in Shire, Tigray do not  allow cash withdrawals. 

Twitter: Tigrai Television Eritrean Forces remain an obstacle for Aid Delivery

Long-cut phones ring again in Ethiopia’s Tigray, bring grief

Ethiopian Red Cross unable to deliver services in Tigray

Oromia govt. gears to conduct “organised law enforcement measures”

OHCHR | EHRC/OHCHR’s Joint Advisory Note and Key Findings

Ethiopia must release journalist Meskerem Abera after second detention this year

Roundups continue in Eritrea

Sudan’s Bashir admits role in 1989 coup during trial

South Sudan Humanitarian Response Plan 2023 (December 2022)

South Sudan’s underfunded emergency receives US$14 million

Somalia: Urgent support needed for rural communities facing famine

Risks of Mass Atrocities in Ethiopia Remain High Despite Peace Deal

Twitter: UN Human Rights Council

Ethiopia: Statement by the High Representative on behalf of the EU

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.