Situation in Ethiopia (per 26 January)

  • The Associated Press spoke to several witnesses about clashes between the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) and Amhara forces, in which several dozen civilians were killed.
  • A witness stated that in Jewuha town in the Amhara region, over 20 Amhara Special Forces were killed when the OLA attacked a camp.
  • A witness in Ataye town in the Amhara region stated that thousands of people were fleeing clashes between the OLA and Amhara special forces. A doctor at the Shewa Robit hospital has been reported as seeing the bodies of “several people” since Monday 23 January,  as well as seriously injured people.
  • Sources state that fighting in Oromia has cut off the road between Ethiopia and Djibouti.
  • Sources note that Defense Minister Abraham Belay arrived unannounced at a meeting to resolve the looming split in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, after three Archbishops appointed 26 Bishops without prior consultation.  

Situation in Tigray (per 26 January)

  • Prof. Jan Nyssen of Ghent University says that up to the end of December the total estimated number of deaths in Tigray has been put at 518.000 (lower estimate 311.000 and upper estimate 808.000), but this needs to be adjusted upwards.
  • Nyssen states that the 2023 figures need to be added, including “approximately 10% […] due to massacres, bomb impacts and other killings; 30% due to the total collapse of the healthcare system; and 60% due to famine”.
  • In addition, civilian victims in Amhara and Afar, as well as soldier victims on the battlefield, have not been counted in the estimates.
  • Nyssen suggests that the 800.000 deaths estimated by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, could be plausible. 

Situation in Eritrea (per 26 January)

  • Andrea Böhm writes in the Zeit that while Eritrea’s President Isayas Afewerki remains relatively unknown, he continues to destabilise the Horn of Africa region, and in particular his neighbour Ethiopia.
  • Böhm asks how Isayas finances his well-equipped armed forces. She says that the 2% diaspora tax by Eritreans who fled the country, often paid out of fear of reprisals, is to blame for a large part.
  • Böhm notes that while the Eritrean embassies in Germany have been forbidden from collecting the tax since 2011, Eritreans in Germany continue to be levied the tax through informal networks. 
  • She notes that the Berliner Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi) has called for a public hearing by the Bundestag on the finances collected by Eritrea abroad, to shine a light on the finances collected. 

Regional Situation (per 26 January)

  • Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed is in Sudan today, 26 January, for a one-day visit. He met army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo (Hemedti). It is Abiy’s first visit to Sudan  since the October 2021 coup.
  • According to reports, the leaders discussed the border dispute between Ethiopia and Sudan, as well as the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.
  • Abiy also met representatives of the Forces of Freedom and Change in Sudan.
  • The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) states that 1.69 million people in Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia have been newly displaced due to drought in 2022. UNHCR calls the drought “catastrophic”. 
  • Plan International published a report on the gender impacts of the global hunger crisis.  Among others, they looked at the situations in Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan and Ethiopia.
  • Plan states that “girls and women in particular face violence, abuse and exploitation in the course of their efforts to secure food and earn an income, but also in their own homes”. 
  • Plan notes that displacement caused by drought has been observed to increase human trafficking and sexual violence against girls and women in IDP and host communities.
  • The Somali airspace regained ‘Class A’ status, stated the International Air Transport Association (AITA).
  • The airspace above Somalia was Class G – uncontrolled. Due to the “upgrade of air traffic management and improved navigation and communication infrastructure”, the airspace could now be upgraded, increasing efficiency and safety, says AITA.

International Situation (per 26 January)

  • Karim Khan, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, briefed the UN Security Council (UNSC) in relation to the trial of Ali Muhammad Ali Abd-Al-Rahman (Ali Kushayb), who is a leader of the Janjaweed militia in Darfur, Sudan. 
  • Ali Kushayb is charged with 31 war crimes and crimes against humanity during the Darfur conflict which started in 2003.
  • Khan accuses the Sudanese government of not cooperating with the trial. Among other things, he noted that “Sisyphean efforts are required in order to simply obtain a single entry visa.”
  • A UN SC  press release stated that the “unfortunate truth is that the Government of Sudan is not meeting its cooperation requirements under Council resolution 1593 (2005), with Sudanese authorities restricting key access to documents and witnesses while ignoring requests for assistance and approval.”
  • Council members urged Sudan to cooperate in this trial and others accused of human rights abuses in Sudanese custody, notably Omar al Bashir, Ahmed Harun, and Abdel Raheem Muhammad Hussein.

Links of interest

Guide to the number of deaths in the Tigray war – Prof. Jan Nyssen, Ghent University

Witnesses say latest ethnic clashes in Ethiopia kill dozens

Der Diktator, den kaum einer kennt

Ethiopia’s PM Abiy Ahmed in Sudan on first visit since 2021 coup 

EHAGL Region: UNHCR’s Drought response in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia (as of 31 December 2022)

What it means for Somalia to regain Class A classification

Beyond Hunger: The gendered impacts of the global hunger crisis

Sudan Not Meeting Cooperation Requirements with International Criminal Court, Prosecutor Tells Security Council, Urging Khartoum to Act Now

Remarks at a UN Security Council Briefing by the ICC Prosecutor for Sudan

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.