Peace negotiations (per 10 February)

– An AU High Level panel virtually discussed the Ethiopia peace process on 9 February. Former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, led the panel. 

– The Political Affairs, Peace and Security of the African Union Commissioner, Bankole Adeoye, stated that ENDF has “peacefully occupied” Mekelle, according to Kenyan media KBC.

– The panel commended both parties on progress made, although noting that schools remain closed and cost of living remains high in Tigray.

Situation in Tigray (per 10 February)

– The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (EOTC) sent letters to five Archbishops of Tigray, which Addis Standard reports is the first communication in two years.

– The letters were sent to Adigrat, Axum, Shire, and two Archbishops in Mekelle. 

– The letters state that the EOTC was unable to condemn actions in Tigray “due to political conspiracy.”

– EOTC stated that it is “necessary to leave behind the mistakes committed in the past and serve our people and our church as before.”

– The Tigray Diocese refused the request to normalise relations with the EOTC. The Archbishop of Adigrat, Abune Merha Kristos, stated: “our position remains unchanged.”

– The Tigray Orthodox Church announced its break away from the EOTC in May 2021 because it accused the EOTC of supporting human rights abuses committed in Tigray.

– Responding to a question about the split within the EOTC, Abune Merha Kirstos said: “We do not know anything about it”. 

Situation in Ethiopia (per 10 February)

– Social media access in Ethiopia was restricted yesterday, 9 February. Based on its network data collected, Ethiopia restricted “access to Facebook, Messenger, TikTok and Telegram […]” says Netblock.

– This action is taken as anti-government protests triggered by tensions in the EOCT are ramping up.

– The EOTC has rejected the Ethiopian government’s ban on the protests which have been announced for 12 February.

– 15 archbishops from the EOTC together with the elders union have started a meeting with PM Abiy Ahmed today (10 February), reports

– Public schools are closed today in Addis Ababa and students have been told to stay home due to expected violence.

– Civil servants from many Federal Government offices in Addis Ababa have been called for a meeting  to discuss the security situation in relation to the rallies organised by the EOTC for the weekend.

– The chair of the youth and young adult association of Orthodox Christians was arrested in Addis.

– Oromia region deputy tourism Commissioner Derara Ketema said that some 7.9 million domestic and 120,000 foreign tourists have visited the state during the first half of the Ethiopian fiscal year.

– Derara said the state earned 8.2 million birr from tourism. This is lower than the same period in 2019. 

– He said income from tourism decreased due to conflict, COVID-19 and economic crisis. 

– Ethiopia has raised the portion of the currently state-owned company Ethio Telecom that it is privatising from 40% to 45%, says the Ministry of Finance.

Regional Situation (per 10 February)

– About 610,000 “illegal migrants” have been smuggled into Libya, as presented in a debate organised in Tripoli on Wednesday 8 February on illegal migration. Speakers included Libyan officials. 

– As part of the trafficking of human beings in Libya, organ harvesting by international trafficking rings is taking place, stated Director of Scientific Affairs at the International Humanitarian Law Centre, Ahmid Al-Zaidani.

– Al-Zaidani stated that African youth is driven by factors such as poverty, political instability, high unemployment rates and corruption to cross the desert to Libya and to cross the Mediterranean Sea in boats that are “coffins of death”, states the Libyan Herald.

– Sources state that the Horn of Africa is a key source of refugee flows towards Libya. 

International Situation (per 10 February)

– Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov pledged Russian support for lifting sanctions on Sudan, after his visit to Khartoum on 8 and 9 February.

– Lavrov met with army leader Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and Mohamed Hamdan Daglo (Hemedti) on cooperation between Russia and Sudan.

– Lavrov also defended the role of the Russian mercenary group Wagner in Africa, stating that it is only deployed “upon the direct request of governments”.

– The UN calls for 2.6 billion USD to address acute hunger and potential famine this year in Somalia. 

– The aid should assist around 7.6 million people the most susceptible to hunger.

– The World Health Organization warns about an exponential rise in Cholera cases in Africa, including in Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia.

– The WHO is particularly concerned about the combination of the outbreak with conflict and extreme drought.

Links of interest

Uhuru attends Ethiopia high-level panel meeting on peace process

News: Synod Secretariat sends letters to five Tigray Archbishops seeking “reconciliation”, blames “political conspiracy” for rift

Twitter: Yonas Negussie; Tigray Rejects Rapprochement with Genocidal EOTC

Social media and messaging apps restricted in Ethiopia amid religious tensions

15 ጳጳሶች በጠቅላይ ሚኒስትሩ ጥሪ ወደ ቤተመግስት ተጓዙ፤ ስብሰባው ተጀምሯል

Ethiopian Church says gov’t statement takes away church right, we reject it

State secures 8.2 bln Birr in six -month tourism revenue

Ethiopia raises size of planned Ethio Telecom stake sale

Approximately 610,000 illegal migrants smuggled into Libya, human organs traded

Russia’s Lavrov pledges support on lifting UN sanctions, defends Wagner on Sudan visit

WHO reports exponential rise in cholera cases in Africa

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