Situation in Ethiopia (per 29 March)

  • A European diplomat in Addis Ababa described the work on transitional justice as a “step in the right direction”, but added that “we are not at the point yet where we are seeing results”, says the New Humanitarian.
  • Another Western diplomat said they were “concerned” about transparency, especially in relation to “criminal investigations and prosecutions”.
  • A draft paper by the Ethiopian Ministry of Justice on options for transitional justice was provided for discussion on 3 January 2023.
  • The draft document states Ethiopia needs a comprehensive transitional justice approach.
  • The draft report identifies that transitional justice processes help sustainable state-building.
  • The draft report builds on the assumption that implementation of transitional justice lays a foundation for ensuring human rights and rule of law.
  • The draft report considers various options for prosecution in the case of serious human rights violations, including persons holding high positions whose inaction led to the breaches.
  • The draft document also considers the investigation, prosecution and judicial processes.
  • The draft document further considers how to treat crimes against humanity, which are not incorporated per se in Ethiopian criminal law.
  • The draft document states that it is important that the crime against humanity is incorporated in criminal law, but the principle of non-retroactivity will be raised.
  • The draft document further finds that truth finding relates to a victims-centered approach as a principle consideration.
  • The draft document highlights the element of reconciliation as a main outcome. This includes the aspect of reparations, which has been given little attention but is an important element of justice.
  • The draft document concludes that: “Ethiopia must learn from its experience and espouse an effective transitional justice mechanism that is in reading with the national contexts and opportunities – and complies with best practice and international standards.”
  • A local official stated that three people were killed and six severely injured by ENDF forces after they fired into a crowd of protesters in the Ayisha district in the Sitti Zone of the Somali region on Monday.
  • The protesters were demonstrating against the perceived support of the ENDF towards Afar security forces in the border disputes between the Somali and Afar regions.
  • Speaking at the 11th session of the Ethiopian parliament on March 28, PM Abiy Ahmed said that the conflict with Sudan took place over a lack of demarcated borders, says the Ethiopian Press Agency.
  • The PM stated that in order to resolve the conflict peacefully, a joint ministerial committee has been formed by the countries to work towards the demarcation of the disputed borders.
  • The PM stated that the claim that South Sudan intends to invade Ethiopia is wrong and that there is no threat from South Sudan.
  • He mentioned that the issue with South Sudan involves about 20,000 pastoralists. The federal government is discussing with the South Sudanese government to find a solution to this situation.
  • A cholera outbreak is spreading in East Bale, Guji and Borena in the Oromia region, reports the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).  There are 2,276 registered cases.

Situation in Tigray (per 29 March)

  • Ethiopian and Eritrean armies destroyed the water infrastructure of Ethiopia’s Tigray region during the two-year war, says the Tigray Bureau of Water and Natural Resources.
  • Half of the 9,213 total water supply schemes in Tigray were reportedly destroyed and still remain out of service, including the potable water purification and bottling factories in the region.
  • Data from the bureau shows that 3,196 irrigation infrastructures are currently out of service as a result of the destruction by the armies.
  • About 57 percent of irrigation farms around the Tekeze River and 89 percent of Welkait sugarcane farms were reported to have been destroyed during the war on Tigray.

Regional Situation (per 29 March)

  • An estimated 5 million Somalis are reportedly experiencing a lack of food security at crisis level.
  • These include about 1.4 million people designated as in Emergency and 96,000 people in famine.
  • UNICEF and partners treated 93,643 children for severe acute wasting.
  • Operations led by the Somali government’s military against al-Shabaab have forced the militants to abandon one-third of their territory, The US ambassador to Somalia Larry André told VOA Somali.
  • André said “Ending al-Shabab’s oppression is one step further toward Somalia’s full revival.”
  • President Kiir of South Sudan announced national elections, but the electoral process is not set out.
  • Belarussian business partners Oleg Vodchits and Alexander Zingma are reported to be positioning as key advisors in the administration of President Ruto, says Africa Intelligence.
  • Daniel Delnero, Zingman’s lawyer, denied involvement “in any project related to security in East Africa”.

International Situation (per 29 March)

  • The European Commission allocated €331 million to support humanitarian aid in the Horn of Africa, primarily targeting food insecurity, needs of refugees and IDPs, disaster preparedness and education.
  • Humanitarian support will be given to Ethiopia (€60.5 million), Kenya (€12.5 million), Somalia (€72 million), South Sudan (€82 million), Sudan (€73 million), Uganda (€30 million), and Djibouti (€500,000).
  • Ethiopian Ambassador Tefera Derbew discussed bilateral cooperation with the Special Envoy of the People’s Republic of China to the Horn of Africa, Xue Bing, according to the Ethiopian Press Agency (EPA).

Links of interest

Twitter: Ministry of Justice Ethiopia

Ethiopia’s new struggle over war crimes accountability

The Ethiopian and Eritrean armies deliberately destroyed Tigray’s water sector

‘Government open, resolute to resolve internal and border conflicts peacefully,’ Premier

News: Army kills three civilians, severely injures six following protests in Sitti zone, Somali region: local official

Ethiopia: Cholera Outbreak – Flash Update #6 (as of 23 March 2023)

UNICEF Somalia Humanitarian Situation Report No. 2, 1 – 28 February 2023

Al-Shabab Has Lost Third of its Territory, US Ambassador Says

Ambassador Tefera Derbew Conferred with Mr. Xue Bing

Amnesty International Report 2022/23: The state of the world’s human rights

Greater Horn of Africa: EU allocates €331 million in humanitarian aid

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.