Situation Report EEPA HORN No. 121 – 07 April 2021

Horn Situation

Europe External Programme with Africa is a Belgium-based Centre of Expertise with in-depth knowledge, publications, and networks, specialised in issues of peace building, refugee protection and resilience in the Horn of Africa. EEPA has published extensively on issues related to movement and/or human trafficking of refugees in the Horn of Africa and on the Central Mediterranean Route. It cooperates with a wide network of Universities, research organisations, civil society and experts from Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Djibouti, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Uganda and across Africa. The situation reports can be found here.

Reported Situation in Tigray (as per 06 April)

  • Reports of heavy military reinforcement by ENDF around Shire town, North western Tigray.
  • Dimtsi Woyane (DW) International reported that 125 civilians, including three brothers, were allegedly killed by the Ethiopian and Eritrean forces in Maykinetal district, Central Zone of Tigray.
  • Video footage showing bodies of those civilians executed in the village of Teka Tesfay, near Wukro town which was witnessed by the MSF staff, circulates in social media.
  • Reports of power blackout almost in all parts of Tigray region for six days in a row. The road from Mekelle to Alamata is also closed due to ongoing fighting.
  • Athletes representing Tigray at the Ethiopian Athletics Anniversary wore all black, kept their heads down and walked as if their hands were chained in protest of the ongoing atrocities and destruction in the Tigray region.
  • USAID released a report on sexual violence in Tigray, based on an analysis of 36 events and a 106 women and girls. Four women were killed after being raped.
  • USAID also says that there were at least 144 perpetrators. 44% of those are Ethiopian soldiers, 33% Eritrean, and 6% both. The remaining perpetrators are unknown or Amhara militia. In 76% of the cases were perpetrated by multiple men.
  • 39% were raped inside their homes, 21 were kidnapped and raped in military camps, and 18% alongside the road. A further 11% were also raped while in a hospital.

Reported Situation in Ethiopia (as per 06 April)

  • Reports of fighting between Afar regional state and Somali regional state forces of Ethiopia.
  • The border clash between Afar and Somali regions have killed at least 100 people.
  • Ahmed Humed, deputy police commissioner for the Afar region said clashes broke out on Friday and continued through Tuesday. He blamed the violence on the attack by Somali regional forces.
  • “The Somali regional forces attacked the areas of Haruk and Gewane using heavy weapons including machinegun and rocket propelled grenades. Children and women were killed while they were sleeping,” added Ahmed.
  • Ali Abdel, a spokesperson for the Somali region, said 25 people had been killed on Friday and an unknown number of civilians died in subsequent attack by the same forces on Tuesday.
  • Both sides deny having initiated the attacks and blame the other for the violence.

Reported Situation in the Horn region (as per 06 April)

  • The next round of GERD dam negotiations in Kinshasa has been extended, although no progress has been made.
  • Sudan’s foreign minister Mariam al-Sadig aL-Mahdi says Ethiopia’s insistence on unilateral moves represents a violation of international law.
  • “Without a new approach to negotiations, there becomes space for Ethiopia to impose a fait accompli and put all the people of the region in grave danger,” added al-Mahdi.
  • “This Ethiopian intransigence requires Sudan to consider all possible options to protect its security and citizens,” said Sudan irrigation and water resources minister in a statement.
  • Egyptian foreign minister also said: “This position reveals once again Ethiopia’s lack of political will to negotiate in good faith.”
  • Sudan has asked the United Nations to withdraw Ethiopian peacekeepers from Abyei State. “We have no confidence in the Ethiopian army in the Abyei State and we want the army to leave Abyei as soon as possible,” said Sudan’s foreign minister, Mariam al-Sadig al-Mahdi.
  • According to the Minister, Ethiopia has shown a firm stance on GERD negotiations and the tripartite talks in Kinshasa ended without agreement because Ethiopia did not want it.
  • “Ethiopia has a lot of interest in Sudan and Sudan will use alternative options to secure its interests,” she added.
  • The Minister also said: “Sudan has understood Ethiopia’s internal problems and has been patient for a long time. We have accepted tens of thousands of Ethiopian refugees, but now we will focus on safeguarding our national interests.”
  • Reports of Egyptian, that Sudanese fighter jets fly over the Nile River in training drill.

Reported International situation (as per 06 April)

  • A report by the World Peace Foundation (WPF) documents how Ethiopian and Eritrean belligerents in the war in Tigray have comprehensively dismantled the region’s economy and food system.
  • The report emphasizes the need of urgent life-saving assistance for the humanitarian disaster and urges all the belligerents to place the survival and welfare of the affected people above political and military goals.
  • The WPF report states regardless of who is responsible for the outbreak of hostilities, the sole reason for the scale of the humanitarian emergency is that the coalition of Ethiopian Federal forces, Amhara regional forces, and Eritrean troops are committing crimes of starvation on a large scale.
  • The report has six sections and looks into the current humanitarian emergency in Tigray and says that it is likely that the populations of Central and Eastern zones of Tigray have been suffering elevated mortality rates over the last two months due to the effects of hunger, acute malnutrition and disease.
  • The report also said that, although there are no validated methods for extrapolating mortality estimates from acute food security analysis, a figure in the range 50-100 excess deaths per day is credible.
  • In conclusion, WPF said that the governments of Ethiopia and Eritrea are starving the people of Tigray.
  • WPF also says it has circumstantial evidence suggesting that this is intentional, systematic and widespread. Full content of the report can be accessed here.
  • The United States State department has said is looking into the reports the extrajudicial killings committed by the Ethiopian Army. This comes after a video appeared showing executions by soldiers.
  • Finnish Foreign Minister and EU Envoy to the Horn Haavisto has met with his Saudi, Faisal bin Farhan counterpart in Riyadh. They discussed regional challenges, as well as the conflict raging in Tigray. They both agreed to “bridge the gap between parties” and support mediation efforts.
  • Haavisto said the humanitarian crisis in Tigray needs quick solutions.
  • Haavisto will brief the European Council after visiting Ethiopia. The European Council will take place on 19 April.

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 info@eepa.be any additional information and corrections.

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