Situation in Tigray (per 02 February )
- A UNOCHA team on a fact-finding mission in Tigray was detained by Eritrean troops in Irob on 1 February, says Tigray Today.
- They were reportedly detained as they were taking a detour to avoid Eritrean troops, but were found and detained for several hours, before being sent back.
- More than 300 trucks loaded with grain-related goods transported from Addis Ababa to Tigray were stopped by Amhara authorities and Fano in North Wollo, report multiple sources.
- The Amhara troops have allegedly been charging 20.000 birr per truck, add sources.
- According to Dimtsi Woyane, the 300 trucks were ordered to return to Addis Ababa after four days.
- Access Now states that “many people” in Tigray do not yet have digital access and remain shut off from the internet and digital services.
- “many people in Tigray still remain digitally cut off, and those who have regained some access are largely struggling with slow speeds and limited 2G services,” the organisation states, calling on the Ethiopian government to commit to an “urgent timeline” for restoration of services.
Situation in Ethiopia (per 02 February)
- The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (EOTC) criticized Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed for promoting “illegitimacy” in addressing the division within the church, reports Mereja.com.
- In a meeting with his cabinet on Tuesday (31 January), the PM proposed that the Holy Synod of the EOTC and a group of Bishops, who broke away from it, should negotiate.
- The church issued a statement yesterday (1 February) which described the remark of the PM as “tantamount to interfering in the affairs of the church.”
- According to Borkena, the church is vowing to stage demonstrations if the PM continues to support the “illegal group and fails to enforce laws.”
- The Ethiopian army suffered 254,000 deaths in the war with Tigray, Field Marshal Berhanu Jula is said to have stated in a meeting with commanders last week. This figure excludes deaths among the militia, thought to be even higher.
- Rights groups raise concern about Ethiopia’s new biometric ID system, set to be fully rolled out by the end of 2025. They warn such a system can be easily misused in a country with deep ethnic tensions.
Regional Situation (per 02 February)
- The regional summit in Mogadishu to discuss fighting al-Shabaab, in which the leaders of Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Somalia took part, was concluded. Eritrea did not participate.
- The meeting issued a statement calling for measures aimed to defeat al-Shabaab militarily, financially, and ideologically.
- The countries “agreed to jointly plan and organize a robust campaign at the frontline states level”, and to ”destroy Al-Shabaab on multiple frontlines aiming at the key strategic Al-Shabaab strongholds across south and central Somalia”.
- The Summit statement called for the lifting of the arms embargo on Somalia by the end of 2023.
- Somalia announced earlier this week it has sent 3,000 new Somali soldiers to Eritrea for training. Soldiers have also been sent to Uganda, and 6,000 more will be sent to Ethiopia and Egypt.
International Situation (per 02 February)
- The Clingendael Institute issued an alert warning the EU to avoid hasty re-engagement with Ethiopia. “While the cessation of hostilities is a welcome development, the EU and its member states should be careful not to blindly reward a deal that was born out of the starvation of an entire region,” it states.
- It states that re-engagement should be “guided by the prerequisites for lasting peace in Ethiopia, rather than by geopolitical competition.”
- Clingendael urges the EU to condemn human rights violations and push for investigation; condition the engagement on actual implementation of the CoH Agreement; and involve alternative stakeholders.
- Europe is under pressure to normalise relations with Ethiopia as Chinese and Russian influence increases, states Horn expert and journalist Martin Plaut. Plaut states that Germany and France have been pushing the European External Action Service to create a roadmap for normalisation.
- Splendor is organising the hybrid event ‘Alarm Bell for Tigray’ on 10 February 2023. A panel of speakers will draw attention to the atrocities committed in Tigray.
- A former WFP country director for Ethiopia claims the international community declared famine in Tigray with insufficient evidence.
- Former UN Humanitarian Chief Mark Lowcock says he continues to support the IPC report which concluded famine took place.
- Aid workers told Devex that they saw alarming cases of malnutrition, and one worker stated “The region was specifically put into a situation whereby collecting this kind of data was impeded.”
- The Global Society of Tigrayan Scholars (GSTS) called for transparency, inclusiveness, tolerance, and responsibility in the process of forming an interim administration in Tigray.
- In its statement GSTS said “the strategic objectives of the Tigrayan political community, including that of the interim administration and those who will participate in it, should be to ensure the non-repetition of genocidal war against the people of Tigray”.
- Russian news states that Ethiopian Airlines is increasing its flights to Russia from this summer on.
Links of interest
After years in the dark, Tigray is slowly coming back online
Ethiopia’s new biometric ID system raises concerns of deadly ethnic profiling
EOTC blames Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed for promoting “illegitimacy”
Ethiopian Church threatens to stage a nationwide peaceful demonstration
A statement of Somalia Neighbouring States Summit
Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Europe’s Stance on Ethiopia
Clingendael Alert: Europe’s re-engagement with Ethiopia
Tigray ‘famine’ was ‘overt politicization,’ says former WFP official
A statement from the Global Society of Tigray Scholars, GSTS
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Dear Martin Plaut, We would like to share with you the shameful story of Amhara leaders in the church who excommunicated Our Bishops of Oromiyaa and violated their God-given right of using their language to dessiminate the word of the Gospel in Oromia. They also told these newly appointed bishops have no right to obtain a burial place in Oromia.
May you think of this for a while and evaluate a church leaders who violate humanright and incite the laity to discriminate our leaders and treat them as if they teach anti biblical tenets. They are asking Abiy Ahmed to arrest and condemn our leaders but He refused and he is even acting better than them at a face value. He told them to forgive and reconcile and work together for the same goal. However, they refuesd and pronounce boldly and boastfully” we are ancient and lawful church . They are boasting because they have millions around them being bainwashed for years. It is only for the sake of money and power but not about religion and Christ. They are threathening the country as if the country will be dismantled if they don’t get money and power in Oromiyaa. It is true the country will be in trouble if they manipulate the people that could even distort the peace of everyone including non-Orthodox tewahedo church believers. Imosing your teacing on everyone violates humanrights of all nations and nationalities. On the account of their boastful personality and powermongering attitude they are threathening the country and spoling our peace and stanlity onec again. It is them who sponsor and allow Fanos to do military training inside a sacred yard of the church .
We sincerely beseech them to stop their violent and unbiblical acts and allow believers and all ethiopians not to engage in violence. Revered People of Oromo DONOT want to involve in violence with their neighbours and with all brothers and sisters within the same religion (EOTC).
We wonder if We might draw your attention to the current territorial expansion and powermongering attitude shown by the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo church (EOTC) leaders who came solely from 2-3 zones located in Amhara region.These irresponsible leaders of EOTC are playing with fire and provoking the followers of the church to stand against the leaders of Orthodox Tewahedo Church of Oromiyaa.The synod is dominated by these irreligious leaders and they incapacitated the Patriarch and it is they who have total control over the synod and manipulate the riches of the church. In Contrast to th recent economically motivated statements made by Leaders of EOTC,Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church Leaders were unwilling to release statements when our People were brutally slaughtered by Fano genocidal squad and their heads were seen publicly hanged on a fence. EOTC synod leaders boldly describe the sources of their income as the principal blood vessels or veins without which their existence would be at stake.Therefore, the concern of these unholy bishops of EOTC is exclusively about their income and power they had in Oromia.In contarst to the teaching of the bible, they refused to come to table and discuss with our Bishops and make reconciliation. We don’t want them anymore , it is dispensable for us to exploit our language and obtain blessings from Our Fathers. Let us Unite , protect our lovely language and preserve our Culture!!! We don’t incite violence like them ,but we demande every Oromo , irrespective of your religious and political standing , to defend our rights in unison in order to exploit Afaan Oromo for the good and being led by our leaders. Viva Oromiyaa!!!
Among the 300 trucks that carry beer and related items were allowed to cross the road to Tigrai and this is one system of washing the cash in Tigrai by providing a useless items. Siege is continuing even after Pretoria agreement.
Eritrean troops are still doing their business of crime and genocide in Tigrai. No one is still stopping them, however, the world specially EU member are computing with Russia and China to lift the restrictions. Not fair.
Similarly, World Bank and IMF are doing the same.
Famine is already exist and will deeply continue in Tigrai unless the world is reacting accordingly. Otherwise, it is the third month since the last distribution of food aid in Tigrai.
Most people are using weak data to access internet and this is in a very few cities of Tigrai.