Peace negotiations (per 26 December)

  • Ethiopian Herald reported this morning that the House Speaker of the Ethiopian Parliament, Tagesse Chafo, departed from Addis Ababa to Mekelle, to oversee the implementation of the Cessation of Hostilities (CoH) Agreement. He was accompanied by high level Ethiopian federal government officials.
  • This is the first high-level delegation heading to Mekelle in two years and shows the CoH Agreement progresses, adds the Ethiopian Herald, citing the Federal government Communication Service.
  • Dimtsi Woyane confirmed that Tigray officials received the delegation led by House Speaker, Tagesse Chafo, at Mekelle Alula Aba Nega Airport.
  • Members of the high-level delegation include the national security advisor and head of the Ethiopian CoH negotiation mission Redwan Hussein, Attorney General Gedion Timotiwos, Industry minister Melaku Alobel, and heads of Ethio Telecom and Ethiopian Airlines.
  • The Inter-religious Council in Tigray calls for all parties to embrace the opportunity of the CoH Agreement, whilst regretting that hostilities have not terminated, and calls for the opening of banking and internet services and support by the international community for the resumption of schools.

Situation in Tigray (per 26 December)

  • Abe Sano, President of the Commercial Bank (CBE) of Ethiopia, told Ethiopian News Agency (ENA) that 20 additional branches of the bank will resume services “in a few days” in Federal Government controlled areas in Tigray.
  • The CBE President stated that the bank is communicating with its Mekelle branch to complete an audit and check the transaction system so as to enable customers to withdraw money from  their accounts.
  • According to the Ethiopian Press Agency (EPA), the Ethiopian Industrial Park Development Corporation  (IPDC) is  making preparations to reinstate the industrial sector in war affected areas including in Tigray.
  • Zemen Junedi, Corporation Media and Marketing Department Head of IPDC told EPA that “The peace agreement signed between the federal government and TPLF will bring manifold advantages for the industry sector expansion and help people secure life.”

Situation in Ethiopia (per 26  December)

  • An article published by academics on Ethiopian insight criticised Ethiopian Universities for violating their core value of academic freedom by not adequately responding ‘’to the murder and arrest of Tigrayan students and academics on their campuses’’.
  • The article alleges that universities ’provided “intellectual justifications” to the war, and failed to “punish university staff who propagated hate speech’’, and channelled academic financial resources to the war.
  • The authors recall that on 21 September 2022, the federal Ministry of Education announced that it and Ethiopia’s public universities had donated 211 million Birr to the ENDF.

Regional Situation (per 26 December)

  • Former US Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, Tibor Nagy, said that President Biden signed the National Defense Authorization Act authorising Somaliland to participate in US military programs.
  • This signals the US is considering Somaliland as a ‘’valuable potential partner’’, according to Tibor Nagy.
  • Citing UNICEF, Addis standard reported that the number of children facing the risk of severe hunger, thirst and diseases has doubled from 10 million in July this year to 20 million at present in East Africa.
  • According to Africa Defense Forum (ADF) magazine, an outlet of the US Command Africa, Russia is using the informal Russian Wagner group to plunder gold in Sudan, and suggests that Russia may have supported the military coup in Sudan to exploit and benefit from gold mining in Sudan.
  • Ethiopian Defence Intelligence Chief Major General, Demsew Amenu, and his Sudanese counterpart Mohamed Ali Ahmed discussed in a meeting held in Khartoum on 24 December increased collaboration and operations on intelligence between Ethiopia and Sudan, according to the Sudan Tribune.
  • Lieke van de Wiel, UNICEF Deputy Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa, warned that children in the Horn of Africa are facing the most severe drought in more than two generations and called for increased humanitarian assistance. 

International Situation (per 26 December)

  • In an article published in Foreign Affairs today, Former US special envoy to the Horn of Africa Jeffrey Feltman said Eritrea will be the ‘’largest potential  spoiler’’ to the implementation of the CoH Agreement.
  • He explains Tigrayans feel left “defenceless” against the Eritrean troops that still control large areas in Tigray.
  • He calls on international partners to provide support to the implementation of the COH Agreement and to use ‘’their limited leverage’’ to dissuade Eritrea and other spoilers from extending the conflict.
  • He also recommended that Ethiopians should take the primary responsibility for implementing the CoH Agreement and for establishing a political process that can prevent external (foreign) forces from threatening  the country.

Links of interest

Twitter: Tigrai Television on AU High-level Panel to head to Mekelle

Ethiopia, Tigray officials agree on modalities to evaluate peace deal

A delegation of Federal Government officials led by the House speaker  has headed to Mekele.

Ethiopia delegation led by house speaker arrives in Mekelle, Dimtsi Woyane

Bank Set to Resume Services in 20 more Branches in Tigray Region: CBE President

Corporation to reinstate industrial parks in war-impacted areas in Ethiopia including in Tigray

Ethiopian universities have infringed on human rights during the Tigray war

Ethiopia, Sudan agree to boost military intelligence sharing

President Biden allows Somaliland to participate in US military programs

News: Drought threatens 20 m children in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia; UN warning of funding shortfall

Ethiopia’s Hard Road to Peace; The Country’s Problems Go Far Beyond Tigray

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.