Peace negotiations (per 16 March)

– At a press briefing in Addis Ababa, the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, acknowledged that the process of withdrawal of external forces from Ethiopia is not complete yet. 

– Eritrean troops and Fano Amhara militia remain in Tigray, Blinken said. He added: “It’s a process. But we continue to see significant movement in the right direction to fulfilling the commitments that were made in the [Cessation of Hostilities] agreement”. 

– Blinken further said that in order to reinstate Ethiopia under African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), prescribed benchmarks have to be fulfilled. He assured that the US administration will assist Ethiopia’s federal government to reach all objectives needed for reinstatement. 

– Blinken stated that the people he spoke to in Ethiopia had shown commitment to the process of transitional justice. 

– Blinken indicated the US will continue to monitor implementation of the CoH agreement, the transitional justice process and monitoring of any further human rights abuses. If those move forward, then US “engagement with Ethiopia – to include economic engagement – will also move forward.”

– In his talks with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Antony Blinken expressed concerns about the situation in Oromia, according to US spokesperson Ned Price. 

Situation in Tigray (per 16 March)

– The country office of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Ethiopia reported delivering 6 metric tonnes of emergency medical supplies including medication for diabetics to Ayder Hospital in Mekelle. The aid supplies target more than 75 thousand people. 

Situation in Ethiopia (per 16 March)

– Mayor of Addis Ababa, Adanech Abebe, reportedly accused youth arriving from other regional states of intending to overrun the federal government. These remarks were made at the regular assembly of the Addis Ababa city council on 14 March.

– Getu Argaw, Addis Police Commissioner, supported the mayor’s remark. He stated that 64 percent of the youth who came to Addis Ababa were from the Amhara region, 24 percent were from the Southern Nations, Nationalities and People’s (SNNP), and 14% from the Oromia region.

– The mayor stated that “the movement to confuse and disillusion the people, especially the youth, by inciting them to destruction through false propaganda is unacceptable as it does not benefit anyone.”

– The National Movement of Amhara (NaMA) opposition political party described the statement as “dangerous, divisive, and genocidal incitement.”

– Dr. Yelikal Kefale, president of the Amhara regional state, called for upholding the constitutional right for free movement within Ethiopia in his address at the regional council meeting last week.

– Ethiopia is reportedly preparing to export electric power to more African countries, according to Ethiopian Press Agency.

– Moges Mekonnen, Ethiopian Electric Power communication director, told EPA that the country earned 48.2 million USD from power export to Sudan, Djibouti, and Kenya.

– He stated that Tanzania, South Sudan, and Somaliland are interested to import power from Ethiopia. Feasibility studies have been conducted to connect the power grid with those countries. 

– The National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) reported that government and security forces are imposing restrictions on the freedom of opposition political parties to hold their general assemblies, says Addis Standardreferring to a statement from the board. 

– NEBE stated that opposition parties Enat Party, Balderas For True Democracy, Gurage Unity and Justice Party (GOGOT) have faced extreme pressure from the government and were denied the right to hold their general assembly. 

Regional Situation (per 16 March)

– The visit of Mohamed ‘Hemedti’ Dagalo, Commander of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and Deputy Chairman of Sudan’s Sovereignty Council, to Eritrea has reportedly been linked to US-Russian rivalry, to internal armed forces tensions, and to issues in eastern Sudan, reports Dabanga. 

– Abdelmonim Abu Idris, journalist and political analyst, told Radio Dabanga that Hemedti’s visit to Asmara is related to a wider framework of regional and international tensions and alliances related to the US-Russian rivalry.

– The journalist said, “The visit comes in light of the great rapprochement between Russia and Eritrea, where Russia wants to build a military base in Massawa as expressed by [Russian FA Minister] Lavrov in his recent visit to Africa.”

– He also added “The RSF has regional and international relations separately from the Sudanese government. The visit is therefore also part of the RSF weaving alliances of its own with countries in the region and international powers.”

International Situation (per 16 March)

– The Nigerian federal government and its mission in Ethiopia demand a full investigation of the death of a Nigerian citizen that reportedly passed away in an Ethiopian prison, according to a statement of the spokesperson of the Nigerian diaspora commission (NiDCOM).

– The Nigerian woman reportedly died on 12 March after alleged physical assault. It was reported that her corpse was inside the prison cell for 36 hours before the Nigerian embassy was informed.

Links of interest

Secretary Antony J. Blinken at a Press Availability

Twitter: WHO Ethiopia

In-depth Analysis: Addis Mayor’s latest remark reveals widening divergence between Amhara, Oromo ruling class of Prosperity Party. What is at stake?

Ethiopia gears up to export power to more African countries

News: Blinken expresses “concerns about the situation in Oromia”, need for resolution through dialogue; announces $331 m in new humanitarian assistance

Secretary Blinken’s Meeting with Ethiopian Prime Minister Ahmed

News: Alarmed Electoral Board condemns rising government, security restrictions on assembly, undue pressure on opposition political parties

Hemeti visits Eritrea to discuss bilateral relations but also to ‘weave RSF alliances’

FG to investigate Nigerian’s death in Ethiopia

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.

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