Situation in Tigray (per 20 February)

  • The Global Society of Tigray Scholars and Professionals (GSTS) calls for a larger inclusivity in the process of establishing an interim administration of Tigray in a statement of 18 February.
  • In relation to the recently announced formation of the interim government establishing committee, GSTS urged that “immediate corrective action needs to be taken to safeguard the legitimacy of the process and ensure public trust”.
  • The new Interim Administration should be represented by various stakeholders including civil society organisations, minority communities, Tigrayans in the diaspora, scholars and professionals, faith organisations and political parties, adds the statement. 

Situation in Ethiopia (per 20 February)

  • The Ethiopian parliament stated that South Sudanese militias advanced up to 200 km into southwestern areas of Ethiopia using the security vacuum created due to the redeployment of Ethiopian defence forces to North Ethiopia during the Tigray war, according to Ethiopian Reporter.
  • The foreign relations committee of the Ethiopian parliament said that the militias have displaced people and changed the name of a town.
  • The committee revealed the infiltration of the militias in a parliament hearing on the performance report of the Ethiopian Ministry of Defense.
  • The Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) said it welcomes the peaceful resolution of the conflict in the Oromia region “through civilized discourse” in reaction to a call for reconciliation from the Oromia regional president, Shimelsi Andissa, reports Addis Standard.
  • In its statement, the OLA warned that the call for reconciliation “lacks the requisite clarity and nuance to be too optimistic about the overtures of an imminent peace process in Oromia.”

Regional Situation (per 20 February)

  • Somali President Hassan Sheikh said his government does not support the secession of Somaliland during his speech at a prayer service in Mogadishu on 17 February, reports Garowe Online.
  • He reportedly said that Somaliland is part of Somalia, and that he does not want to resort to “force” to bring it back.
  • More than 60,000 Somali refugees arrived in the Somali region in Ethiopia in the past weeks due to clashes in Laascaanood, in the Sool region of Somalia, report sources.
  • Refugee families settled temporarily in 13 locations in the towns of Bookh, Galhamur and Danot Woredasi in in the Doolo zone in Ethiopia’s Somali region, says the Shabelle Media Network.
  • A military operation by the Somali National Army has resulted in the killing of more that 200 militants of al-Shabaab, including some commanders, reported Garowe Online.
  • Abdirahman Yusuf Aladdala, the Deputy Minister of Information, confirmed on Thursday (16 February) that government troops conducted the operation together with the international support of the US Africa Command at Fiji village in HirShabelle region of central Somalia.

International Situation (per 20 February)

  • The 36th session of the African Union Summit took place in Addis Ababa between 18 and 19 February.
  • In his opening remarks, Moussa Faki, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, and other high-ranking African leaders praised the efforts of Ethiopia to resolve its conflict.
  • The commissioner said “Even though Africa has encountered multifaceted problems including the unconstitutional overthrow of governments, insurgencies, terrorism, and post-election violence, Ethiopia showcased our perseverance to resolve our problems”.
  • The African Union announced it is concerned about the situation in Libya and that it intends to mediate. The concern includes the situation of migrants in Libya.
  • According to an AU official, the AU requested the departure of mercenaries in Libya.
  • At the AU summit, the UN Secretary General (UNSG), António Guterres, pledged that the UN will “fully support the peace process” in Ethiopia.
  • Guterres that increased humanitarian and development assistance to Tigray, Amhara, and Afar regions is one of the important manifestations of the UN support.
  • As a sideline meeting of the AU summit in Addis Ababa, President of the European Council Charles Michel and Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed discussed the progress made in implementing the Pretoria Cessation of Hostilities agreement, Ethiopia’s development efforts, and its relationships with the EU.
  • Charles Michel also met Ethiopian President, Sahle-Work Zewde, to discuss bilateral relations.
  • A senior Israeli diplomat, Sharon Bar-li, was expelled from the assembly of the AU summit on 18 February, report sources.
  • Ebba Kalondo, a spokesperson for the AU commission chairman said that the diplomat was asked to leave as she did not possess the correct accreditation which was only issued for another Israeli ambassador and is non-transferable.
  • In his message to the AU Summit, Russian President Vladimir Putin described the AU as “an effective mechanism of multilateral political, economic, and humanitarian cooperation,” reports the Ethiopian Press Agency (EPA).
  • The EPA quoted President Putin as saying “We are united by the aspiration to build a just multipolar world order based on genuine equality and rule of international law, free from any forms of discrimination, coercive dictatorship, and sanction pressure.”

Links of interest

Proposals on the Formation of the Interim Administration of Tigray Presented for Consideration by Stakeholders

የደቡብ ሱዳን ታጣቂዎች 200 ኪሎ ሜትር ወደ ኢትዮጵያ ዘልቀው የአንድ ከተማ ስም መቀየራቸው ተነገረ

News: OLA says Oromia region call for reconciliation “welcome news”, issues “key aspects” to be clarified

Hassan Sheikh- Somaliland is part of Somalia, we don’t support secession

Ethiopia: Tens of Thousands Arrive in Ethiopia, Fleeing Recent Clashes in Somalia

Somalia says its army killed hundreds of militants in the latest military operations

African Union announces peace initiative in Libya

Summit applauds Ethiopia’s perseverance to succeed in peace

UN Secretary-General’s Press Conference at the African Union Summit

Charles Mitchel and PM Abiy meet on the sidelines of AU summit

Israeli diplomat expelled from African Union summit as row escalates

Putin hails AU’s role in multilateral cooperation, alliance • Greets AU Summit participants

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.