Situation Report EEPA HORN No. 124 – 12 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 11 April)

  • Multiple fires were detected within a settlement in northwest Dansha, Tsegede district, Western Tigray.
  • Reported that ethnic profiling and arrests of Tigrayas has continued in Addis Ababa.
  • Reported that fresh deployment of Eritrean forces has continued towards Eastern Zone of Tigray.
  • Unconfirmed reports that the Prosperity Party (PP) have decided to arrest Tigrayan social media activists living in Addis Ababa.
  • In a video interview, members of the Amhara militia and Fano said: “In collaboration with our bosses, we eliminated anyone who objected to our rules in the Debark zone, near the border of Tigray region.”
  • In the video, the Amhara militants stated: “We have invaded and handed over a large land including Tekeze River to May Tsebri administrator. We have also erected our flag on Tekeze River bridge.”
  • “We have given new Amhara ID cards to all residents of the area (Western Tigray) and make sure everybody smells Amhara,” added the Amhara militants.
  • The Amhara militants also said: “We are surprised by the new enemies armed with snipers and modern weapons in the Metekel Zone of the Benishangul Gumuz region and Kemise area of the Oromia Special Zone in the Amhara region.”
  • On the night of 07 March 2021, Eritrean troops kidnapped 4 Eritrean refugees from Zone 3 and 4 of Adi Harush refugee camp.
  • And on the night of 08 March 2021, the Eritrean troops kidnapped another 5 refugees. One of them was from the Kunama ethnic group, recently relocated from Shimelba camp and was working as a volunteer at the Shimelba hospital.
  • The Eritrean ethnic Kunama, Mr. Adisso, a father of three, was forcibly taken from his family. His sister tried to fight back with the troops but she was stabbed by a knife around her hand by one of the troops.
  • The other 8 refugees were ethnic Tigrinya and were recently relocated from Hitsats camp.
  • Most refugees feel insecure in the camp while the UNHCR and Agency for Returnees and Refugees Affairs (ARRA) are reluctant to provide protection, especially during the night time.
  • Reported that Ethiopia’s Agency for Returnees and Refugees Affairs (ARRA) has relocated hundreds of Eritrean refugees who were living inside the school of May Ayni camp to Adi Harish camp.
  • According to the sources, most of the relocated refugees were not happy due to the security risk at Adi Harish camp and continued kidnapping by Eritrean troops.
  • Most of the refugees are also afraid that the relocation by the Ethiopian government might be a prearranged plan to get them closer to the border so that kidnapping will be easy for Eritrean troops.
  • Some Eritrean refugees have refused to be relocated and are currently staying near May Ayni camp by renting houses.
  • An Eritrean witness who was in Akum on Nov. 28-29, 2020 told TMH that Eritrean and Ethiopian forces heavily bombed the city of Akum on 19-20 Nov. 2020. “I saw when the University of Axum and Anbessa Hotel was shelled. As the shelling was very intensive, we went underground,” said the witness.
  • Human Rights Watch has said Aksum was bombed on 20 November.
  • The witness said: “After fighting with the Tigray militia on Nov. 28, 2020 at May Koho, later in the afternoon Eritrean troops were shooting everyone they found in the streets of Akum.”
  • “They were killing everyone they found, including those who were returning from the church. It was on Saturday and I saw many dead bodies in the street,” said the witness. “They also killed my friend who was with me in the underground of the hotel when he left the hotel to check his family.”
  • The witness says on Sunday morning (Nov. 29/2020), they took 6-7 bodies and buried them at Arba’etu Ensessa Church. “There was also a body of a woman brought by people, but elders came and told us to leave the area saying Eritrean troops have started killing anyone they found on the street and we ran away,” added the witness.  “I am not sure if the woman was buried.”
  • The witness states that during the 24-hours mass execution, Eritrean soldiers were distributed in the whole city and went house to house killing everyone they found.
  • “Next to the house I was staying in, I heard kids crying because their families were killed. The soldiers also knocked on my door asking me to open but I didn’t and thanks to God they left,” said the witness.
  • The witness estimated the number of people killed within two days in Axum around a thousand.
  • The witness said Eritrean troops were looting boutiques, mobile shops, hotels and jewelry shops. “I heard Ethiopain federal troops telling the Eriterans to stop looting and the Eritreans replied we were told to loot by your government so we are doing our job,” added the witness.

Reported Situation in the Horn region(as per 11 April)

  • Ethiopia’s Deputy Prime Minister has met with EU Envoy Haavisto and discussed the situation in Tigray.
  • According to Al-Arabiya, the Sudanese Sovereignty Council said: “We will not give up areas in Al-Fashaga because they are our lands. We don’t want to go to war with Ethiopia, but if it is imposed on us, we will win because we are right.”
  • A Senior Sudanese official rejected an initiative by the UAE to settle the border dispute with Ethiopia saying it aims to divide the claimed Al-Fashaga area between the two countries.
  • “The UAE wants to divide our land and we will not accept that,” said Malik Agar member of the Sovereign Council and SPLM-N faction leader.
  • The former rebel leader added: “The UAE wants to distribute our land. This is a biased initiative that will cast its shadow and repercussions on the region.”
  • According to several Sudanese officials, the UAE proposed to withdraw the Sudanese troops from the border, divide the income of the UAE investment projects in Al-Fashaga by 40% for Sudan, 40% for the Emirates and 20% for Ethiopia farmers.
  • Sudan Tribune (ST) says the Sudanese army will hand over dozens of Ethiopian militiamen and soldiers arrested during sporadic clashes on the Sudanese-Ethiopian border.
  • “The military and administrative arrangements in the 2nd Infantry Division Command have been completed to release 60 Ethiopian prisoners of the army and Amhara militias,” said ST.
  • The ST report said those Ethiopian forces were arrested by Military Intelligence inside Sudanese territory in Al-Fashaga where they attacked Sudanese farmers and herders over the past six months.
  • Sudan has also declined an Ethiopian offer to share data on the second filling of GERD before reaching a legally binding agreement. Egypt has adopted a similar position.
  • Alex de Waal argues in an article in Responsible Statecraft that the Biden agenda in Tigray is not working. While it has adopted good goals to achieve, Eritrea and Ethiopia have taken sufficient measures to look like they are de-escalating the situation, yet not actually ending the conflict.

Reported International situation (as per 11 April)

  • German Foreign Minister, Heiko Mass has spoken with Ethiopia’s deputy prime minister and said: “We are deeply worried about the conflict in Tigray. Full access for humanitarian assistance and the protection of civilians are of utmost importance.”

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.

Links of interest

https://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article69425&fbclid=IwAR0mF

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *