Situation in Sudan (per 24 April)
- Witnesses state that the situation in Khartoum is very serious and that people are panicking due to the ongoing evacuations of diplomatic staff, aid workers and UN missions.
- Over the weekend, US, EU and others organised evacuations of their nationals; some convoys, among others a French, Qatari and Egyptian convoy, came under fire, injuring at least two people. Evacuation efforts continued today.
- The EU Ambassador to Sudan, Aidan O’Hara, is still in Sudan, but no longer in Khartoum.
- A UN convoy travelled along the roads to Port Sudan for evacuation. Sources state they arrived safely after a 1.5 day trip.
- Mobile networks and internet were slow or completely down over the weekend; ZAIN and Mtn were reportedly working again (at low capacity) today in Khartoum, but Sudani remains down. Banking apps are also not working. Cell phone towers reportedly shut down due to a lack of power.
- Netblocks stated that the internet in Sudan is at 2% of normal connectivity.
- Civilians organised a large demonstration in Khartoum on Sunday night in the dark. Civilians were reportedly holding up their phones for light.
- Civilians in Sudan are pushing back against the war with the “No War” campaign.
- Sources report that civilian committees in Nyala and El Fasher city arranged ceasefires between the RSF and SAF, which appear to be holding.
- The fighting in Sudan killed at least 427 people and injured over 3700 as of 21 April, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). WHO has verified 11 direct attacks on healthcare facilities.
- Civilians are making desperate attempts to escape Sudan, a spokesperson for the International Committee of the Red Cross stated.
- Leaders from civil society, politics and academia launched a petition calling for a ceasefire, and urging the international community to pressure the RSF and SAF to stop the war, particularly the aerial bombardments.
- The petition calls for any party to transition to democracy and full civilian rule to be sanctioned.
- The RSF launched an attack on the Kober Prison, which houses Omar al-Bashir. SAF stated that it repelled an attack and that a number of prisoners escaped, but not al-Bashir and other high security prisoners. RSF also reportedly attacked two other prisons.
- RSF stated it had taken al-Bashir and freed thousands of prisoners. Neither claim could be verified.
- Sources state that al-Bashir had been relocated earlier for medical treatment and that he was not at the prison.
- The Sudanese Islamic Movement (SIM) led by former al-Bashir’s minister Ali Karti expressed support to SAF and accused RSF and civilian politicians for conflict, according to a statement issued by the SIM.
Situation in Ethiopia (per 24 April)
- Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed stated that on 25 April, negotiations will start in Tanzania between the federal government and the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA). The PM referred to OLA as ‘Shene’.
- In a statement, OLA confirmed that the negotiation will start with the involvement of an independent third-party mediator.
- The statement mentioned that its designation by the PM as ‘Shene’ is incorrect and that its formal name is Oromo Liberation Army.
- The statement said “The OLA remains unwavering in its commitment to engaging in constructive dialogue and working towards a peaceful resolution that addresses the grievances and aspirations of the Oromo people.”
- A ceremony was held over the weekend in Ethiopia with former Presidents Uhuru and Obasanjo in attendance, to celebrate the Cessation of Hostilities in Ethiopia, particularly in Tigray.
- PM Abiy Ahmed awarded various stakeholders for their role in the Cessation of Hostilities.
- PM Abiy Ahmed said that a delegation of presidents of regional states will travel to Tigray and observe the damages caused by the war and assess reconstruction needs of the region.
Regional Situation (per 24 April)
- Somalia’s military states 18 al-Shabaab militants were killed after they attacked a military base near Masagaway town, Galgadud, on Saturday.
- At least 3 civilians, described as traditional elders, were also killed in the attack, and more are missing.
International Situation (per 24 April)
- The Council of the European Union approved conclusions stating that the EU is ready to support Ethiopia. It states that the EU will progressively normalise relations with Ethiopia.
- It says it stands ready to resume aid through its multi-annual indicative programme with Ethiopia, and says the EU stands ready to support the process of achieving transitional justice and accountability.
- The EU Council “welcomes the agreed withdrawal of foreign forces” from Ethiopia but does not comment further on the current status of those foreign forces.
- The EU Council says it welcomes cooperation and stands ready to support the EHRC and the UN Human Rights Commission in accountability and transitional justice. It “looks forward to the final report” by ICHREE to be presented in September 2023.
- The EU Council expresses concern over the tensions and rights violations in Amhara and Oromia.
Links of interest
Foreign powers rescue nationals while Sudanese must fend for themselves
Foreign Affairs Council: Press remarks by High Representative Josep Borrell upon arrival
Sudan fighting: Civilian death toll rising as thousands flee
Sudan: Clashes between SAF and RSF – Flash Update No. 5 (23 April 2023)
ضد الحرب وضد العسكرة … معاً في جبهة مدنية لمناهضة عودة النظام البائد
Ethiopia Celebrating The Conclusion Of Peace Agreement, Acclaims Participants
Regarding Peace Negotiations: A statement from Oromo Liberation Army
At Least 21 Killed as Somalia Battles Jihadis in Remote Area
Ethiopia: Council conclusions confirm EU support for lasting peace
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The PM singled out Wallagga as the only region of Oromia where OLA operates. He is doing that to target it specifically; blockade it as he had done to Tigray; and break up the Oromo people there as punitive act for their supporting OLA. But we hear presence of OLA in several other areas including the center called Shewa. He also tries to label OLA fragmented to intentionally create discord among OLA wings operating in areas other than Wallagga. This indicates how much the move for “peaceful negotiation” lacks genuine move on the part of the ruling group. On the ground, we hear that they have put the troops on high alert to start fighting anytime soon probably alleging OLA refused to negotiate. Let’s wait and see!