Peace negotiations (per 23 February)

  • General Tsadkan Gebretinsae, a member of central command of Tigray Defense Forces and Tigray peace delegation, issued a statement criticising the process of the ongoing establishment of an interim regional government in Tigray.
  • He questioned the legitimacy of the representation of the interim government establishing committee.
  • He called upon the Government of Tigray to include other stakeholders to join the current committee in the ongoing processes.
  • The interim government will respect and restore the territories of Tigray, stated General Taddesse Worede, head of Tigray Defense Forces and chair of Regional Interim Government Establishing Committee.
  • He said that the release of budget and salaries from the federal government is linked with the establishment of an interim government in Tigray and the committee is working to speed up the process.

Situation in Tigray (per 23 February)

  • IDPs from Irob currently residing in Adigrat state that there is an ongoing shortage of humanitarian assistance and lack of assessment carried out by aid organisations, reports Tigrai Television.
  • Eritrean forces continue to be present in Tigray and are blocking the aid from reaching people in need, state the IDPs.

Situation in Ethiopia (per 23 February)

  • Ongoing intense fighting has caused the internal displacement of 1.5 million people in the Oromia region, leading to a humanitarian crisis, states Oromia Physicians Association (OPA).
  • OPA reports an acute shortage of medical supplies. In addition, “908 health posts, 158 health centers and 6 hospitals have been damaged or looted, with 179 health posts and 12 health centers burned.”
  • Due to the internet shutdown in the Tigray region in 2022 that affected over a million internet users, Ethiopian businesses are reported to have lost about USD 146 million, according to a report by Top10VPN.
  • The lack of connection for 8769 hours in 2022 stopped digital payments and businesses.
  • The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) issued a statement in which it confirmed that the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) returning to their homes in Afar region struggle to return to their normal lives due to the restriction of free movement and lack of humanitarian assistance.
  • Tewodros Asfaw, an Ethiopian journalist, has been released by federal supreme court on bail of 30,000 Ethiopian birr after 9 days of imprisonment.
  • China offered tariff free trade to Ethiopia and other countries in Africa, states Ethiopian media.

Regional Situation (per 23 February)

  • The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) said that it expects below-normal rainfall in the rainy season over the next three months making it the 6th failed consecutive season in the region including Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya.
  • It is estimated that about 23 million people will suffer from food insecurity in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya, according to a food security working group chaired by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.

International Situation (per 23 February)

  • The UN Security Council (UNSC) held a meeting on the situation in  Somalia.
  • Anita Kiki Gbeho, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia, briefed the Council on the latest developments in the country.
  • She called for equal representation of women in the public sector and highlighted the challenges that are threatening stability and peace in Somalia, namely attacks of al-Shabaab and the threat of famine stemming from the historic droughts.
  • Sima Sami Bahous, UN Women Executive Director, delivered a speech to the UNSC highlighting that women’s political participation is decreasing and sexual violence is increasing in Somalia.
  • She said that although advocacy efforts were made during discussions on the establishment of the government, women constitute only 13% of the Somali cabinet.
  • Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, US Representative to the UN, praised the efforts in the fight against al-Shabaab and welcomed the steps towards federalism and political reconciliation.
  • Thomas-Greenfield raised concerns about ongoing violence against civilians in Laascaanood, and called for immediate protection and unimpeded humanitarian access.
  • The governor of the Ethiopian national bank, Mamo Mihretu, and director general of the Chinese central bank discussed their bilateral economic relations.

Links of interest

A statement from General Tsadkan Gebretinsae on interim government formation in Tigray

ኣብ ትግራይ ዝጣየሽ ዘሎ ግዝያዊ ምምሕዳር ሉአላዊ ግዝአት ትግራይ ዘኽብርን ዝምልስን ክከውን ብዕቱብ ንሰርሐሉ አለና ኢሉ ተጋዳላይ ታደሰ ወረደ (ወዲ ወረደ) ።

A statement from military command of Tigray Defense Forces

Tigrai Television: Suffering of IDPs from Irob

Unresolved IDP crisis, alarming lack of basic healthcare causing suffering in conflict affected parts of Oromia – OPA

Ethiopian businesses lose USD 146 mln to Tigray internet shutdown in 2022

EHRC says restrictions on free movement of people, trade impede recovery efforts of IDP returnees in Afar region

Journalist Tewodros Asfaw released on bail after nine days of imprisonment

China’s Zero-tariff to Ethiopia opens door for trade expansion

UN official underlines need to advance women’s participation in public life

Seize the opportunity for decisive action in Somalia

Drought in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya now worse than during 2011 famine

Twitter: Mamo Mihretu, governor of Ethiopian National Bank

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.