Peace negotiations (per 21 March)

  • US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, said that members of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF), Eritrean Defense Forces (EDF), Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) forces, and Amhara forces committed war crimes during the war.
  • “Members of the ENDF, EDF, and Amhara forces also committed crimes against humanity, including murder, rape, and other forms of sexual violence, and persecution”,  said Blinken during a launch of the 2022 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices report. 
  • He stated: “Members of the Amhara forces also committed the crime against humanity of deportation or forcible transfer and committed ethnic cleansing in western Tigray”.
  • Blinken said that atrocities committed by all parties have to be acknowledged if sustainable peace is to be achieved and that perpetrators that committed those atrocities must be held accountable.
  • He appreciated the commitment made by the parties to the Cessation of Hostilities (CoH) agreement acknowledging “the atrocities committed and their devastating consequences”.
  • He urged all parties to exercise their commitments made and adhere to the implementation of the transitional justice process.
  • Blinken called on the Eritrean government “to ensure comprehensive justice and accountability for those responsible for abuses in Ethiopia”.
  • The Ethiopian government refused to accept the report delivered by Blinken.
  • The statement issued by the  Ethiopia Ministry of Foreign Affairs called the report presented by the US Secretary of State selective, untimely and inflammatory.
  • The Eritrean Ministry of Foreign Affairs also issued a statement in which it rejected the statement made by the US.
  • The statement said that the accusations made by the US are “designed to blackmail and intimidate Eritrea and the Federal Ethiopian government”.
  • Tigray authorities called on the federal government to take measures for withdrawal of Amhara forces from the southern region of Tigray who are disturbing the implementation of the peace process.
  • Following the ‘pro-Amhara’ demonstration held in Alamata town on 19 March with participation of people from several Amhara areas mainly Guba-Lafto, Woldiya, and Raya Kobo, the Tigray Communication Bureau issued a statement.
  • The statement further called on the African Union and international community to take actions to stop Amhara forces and Eritrean forces committing crimes against Tigray people.
  • Mohamed Othman, chair of the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia (ICHREE) has delivered his briefing at the 52nd Session of the Human Rights Council.
  • “We remain concerned about the lack of pathways for accountability for the serious violations committed by Eritrean forces”, informed the Chairman.
  • He said that despite several efforts made by ICHREE, the Ethiopian government has not yet allowed the investigations to be carried out within Ethiopia. The investigation is being conducted remotely.
  • He called on Ethiopian authorities to allow ICHREE to conduct the investigation in the country.
  • He further reassured that the ICHREE is investigating the allegations of committed crimes by all parties including Eritrean forces operating in Tigray.
  • In a response, Ethiopia Ambassador Tsegab Kebebew Daka called on the ICHREE  “not to repeat the kinds of inflammatory and unfounded allegations contained in its preliminary report with a potential to undermine the peace agreement stability and durable peace in Ethiopia”.

Situation in Tigray (per 21 March)

  • Wounded members of Tigray Defense Forces conducted a protest in Mekelle calling for medical care, food and material aid and claiming that their needs are being neglected.

Situation in Ethiopia (per 21  March)

  • Oromia members of the Ethiopian federal parliament called on the African Union (AU) to take actions to resolve conflict in Oromia between the Oromo Liberation Army and the Ethiopian government, reports Addis Standard.
  • Members of the federal parliament sent a letter to the AU claiming that the conflict in Oromia is an underestimated matter which has caused a lot of casualties in the past four years.
  • Prices of teff grain spiked in the markets of Addis Ababa as acute shortages have emerged.
  •  A quintal of teff  costs 8,000 to 10,000 birr, which had cost 5,000 birr a few weeks ago.

International Situation (per 21  March)

  • China’s volume of trade has reached 5 billion USD becoming the largest trading partner to Ethiopia, reports the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA).
  • Upcoming Sudanese transitional government should receive sufficient support from the international community, urged Volker Perthes, Head of the UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS), during his briefing to the UN Security Council.
  • China demands that economic aid to Sudan should restart immediately and unconditionally, a Chinese envoy to the UN Security Council,  Dai Bing, said at the briefing.
  • He also called on relevant parties to make efforts towards lifting sanctions against Sudan.

Links of interest

War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity, and Ethnic Cleansing in Ethiopia

War crimes committed by all parties in Ethiopia’s Tigray conflict, Blinken says

A statement from Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Eritrea Rejects US State Department Allegations

Amhara forces continue to abuse innocents in southern Tigrai, federal government should interfere, says Tigrai Communication Bureau

36th Meeting – 52nd Regular Session of Human Rights Council

News: Lawmakers from Oromia urge AU to “intervene and negotiate” to end conflict in Oromia, repeat call for warring parties

Amid soaring price and chronic shortage, Ethiopia’s staple grain becomes latest political boiling point

Ethio-China trade hits record high

Perthes calls for united international support for Sudan’s new transitional government

China calls for immediate, unconditional resumption of economic aid to Sudan

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