Situation in Tigray (per 14 February)

  • Families of 10 Tigray youths abducted by Eritrean troops on 18 January still do not know their location, states Addis Standard.
  • Family members that spoke to Addis Standard went to Shire and Shiraro where Eritrean troops had been stationed to search for the missing young men, but found that the troops had already left, together with the youths.
  • The young men are reported to have been taken from the Endabagabir village in Aksum. Addis Standard reports that the women and elderly in the group were beaten.

Situation in Ethiopia (per 14 February)

  • Abune Sawiros, the head of the new breakaway group of archbishops in Ethiopia, told the press this morning (14 February) that “they will not step back”, reports Oromia Media Network.
  • Ethiopian President, Sahle-Work Zewde, released a statement in which she calls for caution not to use “race and religion for political gain”.
  • The statement was released yesterday (13 February), after her meeting with the representatives of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (EOTC).
  • Journalist and political analyst Tewodros Asfaw has reportedly been detained by Ethiopian federal government security forces today (14 February) in Addis Ababa according to Addis Maleda, citing his brother Biniam Asfaw.
  • Tewodros was allegedly taken from his home in the Tulu Dimtu area of Addis Ababa and taken to the Criminal Investigation Office of the Federal Police at Mexico Square.
  • The World Bank delegation pledged to continue their support for development programmes in Ethiopia reports Fana Broadcasting Corporate. The pledge was made during their meeting with Fitsum Assefa, Minister of Planning and Development in Addis Ababa, 
  • More than 4.5 million livestock have died in Ethiopia since 2021 due to the severe drought, states the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in their new Ethiopia Drought Response Plan report.

Regional Situation (per 14 February)

  • Twelve al-Shabaab militants were reportedly killed in an airstrike operation carried out by the US military in support of the Somali National Army on 10 February, reports the US Africa Command.
  • The Command adds that the airstrike, which took place some 45 km southwest of Hobyo town in Somalia was conducted “[a]t the request of the Federal Government of Somalia” .
  • The current drought in Somalia is the worst in the country’s recorded history, states Adam Abdelmoula, the UN’s humanitarian coordinator for Somalia.
  • Three men in Sudan have been sentenced to hand amputation for stealing, which is the first time in a decade that the courts have used this punishment, amidst fears of increased state extremism.

International Situation (per 14 February)

  • The Russian mercenary group Wagner is spreading its influence in Africa, states the Wall Street Journal. In particular, Wagner is working with the Central African Republic government to seize mineral-rich areas. These could be exported through Sudan.
  • European officials say that Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo (Hemedti), who was deputy-chair of the Sudan Transitional Military Council, made an informal agreement to assist in the creation of corridors for the Central African Republic’s army and Wagner to transport mining machinery, gold and diamonds.
  • Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov praised the conditions for Russian mining operations in Sudan during his visit to Sudan last week.
  • Sudan and Russia have finalised the terms of an agreement on a logistical centre for the Russian Navy. The plans were announced in 2020, but had not yet been ratified.
  • The deal needs to be approved by Sudan’s parliament, which has not yet been formed.
  • The new Permanent Representative of Ethiopia to the United Nations, Tesfaye Yilma Sabo, presented his credentials to UN Secretary-General António Guterres on 13 February.
  • Sabo previously served as State Minister for Foreign Affairs in Ethiopia, and Ethiopia’s Permanent Representative to the African Union as well as the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa between 2018 and 2022.
  • Abbas Sharaky, Professor of Geology and Water Resources at the Cairo University, has expressed concern about the safety of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) as the safety study which was proposed to be conducted by French experts has been reportedly obstructed by Ethiopia reports Egypt Independent
  • EOTC sent a delegation to Moscow to discuss bilateral relationship with Russian Orthodox Church, reports
  • The delegation will reportedly meet Patriarch Kirill of Moscow.

Links of interest

News: Families of ten youngsters abducted by Eritrean forces near Axum in distraught over their whereabouts

President Sahle-Work cautions against using “race and religion” for political gain

Facebook: Addis Maleda

የኢትዮጵያ ኦርቶዶክስ ተዋሕዶ ቤተ ክርስቲያን ልዑክ ለሁለትዮሽ ውይይት ሞስኮ መግባቱ ተገለፀ

Facebook: Mereja

World Bank Vows To Continue Support For Development Activities In Ethiopia

IOM Ethiopia Drought Response Plan 2023

Sudan court sentences three men to hand amputation for stealing

Famine could rip through Somalia as soon as April, UN warns

Somali, U.S. forces engage insurgents in support of the Federal Government of Somalia

Russia’s Wagner Deepens Influence in Africa, Helping Putin Project Power

Russia and Sudan set to finalize agreement on naval basing rights

New Permanent Representative of Ethiopia Presents Credentials

Egyptian professor raises concern over GERD safety

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