SITUATION REPORT – HORN OF AFRICA No. 267, 13 September 2022

Situation in Tigray (per 13 September)

  • A hospital official told Reuters that an airstrike, reportedly carried out via drones,  hit the capital of the Tigray region, Mekelle, today (13 September) in the morning.
  • The airstrike follows just two days after the Government of Tigray expressed its readiness for cessation of hostilities and accepted an AU-led peace process in Ethiopia.
  • The chief executive director of Ayder Specialized Hospital, Dr. Kibrom Gebreselassie, Tweeted in the morning that the hospital had received one wounded person.
  • Dr Kibrom also said the person who brought the wounded person to the hospital said that the strike hit Dimtsi Weyane TV station and business campus of Mekelle University.
  • Dimtsi Weyane stopped televising after the drone attack, says Tigrai Television.
  • Getachew Reda, spokesperson for the Government of Tigray also confirmed on Twitter that the drone strike targeted Adi Haqi campus of Mekelle University and civilians.
  • Internal sources state that the ENDF forces at de Dedebit front in Western Tigray, which entail 24 divisions, have been defeated after ten days of fighting by the TDF (unconfirmed).

Situation in Ethiopia & Eritrea (per 13 September)

  • Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and his delegation arrived in Nairobi, Kenya, today to take part in the inauguration ceremony of President-elect William Ruto.
  • The Ethiopian government has not yet responded to the allegations of airstrikes in Mekelle, nor to the statement accepting an AU-led peace process by the Tigray government. 
  • Executive director of the World Peace Foundation Alex de Waal warns that Eritrea is “fully committed to the war” and that Ethiopian sources indicate Eritrean President Isaias commands 12 ENDF divisions stationed in Eritrea. De Waal states that these divisions are now “effectively hostages” in Eritrea.
  • De Waal warns that “Isaias not only dictates the order of battle but can veto any peace moves made by Abiy.”
  • De Waal states that Ethiopian PM Abiy’s approach of keeping Tigray locked down and in a state of starvation could still work for him if the African Union and the UN Security Council cannot achieve a credible peace process. 
  • The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) urges the release of Ethiopian journalists Gobeze Sisay and Meaza Mohammed, arrested on 7 September by federal police officers. 
  • The federal authorities have not filed formal charges, but accuse both journalists of having connections with the TPLF. 
  • “[…] The pattern of throwing critical journalists behind bars, which has become entrenched during the civil war, must be reversed,” said CPJ sub-Saharan Africa representative, Muthoki Mumo.

Regional Situation (per 13 September)

  • The Sudanese diaspora in the US announces that it will protest against General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan’s participation in the 77th UN General Assembly from 13 to 17 September.
  • The vice president of the Sudanese community in Washington announced that they filed a petition with the US administration and the US Congress to deny the General’s entry visa.
  • The government of Sudan has not yet made an official announcement regarding the participation of General al-Burhan, but several official sources have confirmed it, according to the Sudan Tribune.
  • According to a member of the Misseriya Supreme Coordination, five people were killed in renewed tribal violence over land ownership in Sudan’s West Kordofan state on 12 September. Another 13 people were reportedly injured in the clashes.

International Situation (per 13 September)

  • The White House has welcomed the announcement by the Government of Tigray that they would accept a credible AU-led peace process.
  • White House spokesperson, Karine Jean-Pierre, said: “It’s high time for both sides to stop fighting and turn to dialogue to resolve their differences.”
  • She also said Ethiopia should “seize this moment to give peace a chance” and that “Eritrea and others should stay out of the conflict.”
  • Acting UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Nada Al-Nashif, stated: “I am encouraged by the announcement by authorities in Tigray of their readiness to abide by an immediate cessation of hostilities and to participate in an AU-led peace process.”
  • Health Professionals Network for Tigray condemns the participation of special envoy to the Horn, Mike Hammer, in a discussion named “Beyond War & Peace: Ideas for a better Ethiopia”. The discussion is reportedly conducted by a group that has contributed to misinformation.
  • They call on Mike Hammer to join a space where humanitarian organisations advocate and defend the rights of the people.

Links of interest
Air strike hits Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region capital, says health official: Reuters 
Twitter: Geatche Reda, spokesperson for the Government of Tigray
Dimtsi Weyane Stops Televising After Drone Attack
Tigrayan forces say ready to accept an AU-led peace process in Ethiopia
Tigray announces cessation of hostilities, but Abiy remains silent
Sudanese say prepared to protest against al-Burhan’s participation in UNGA
Ethiopian authorities detain journalists Gobeze Sisay and Meaza Mohammed
Press Gaggle by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, White House spokesperson
Twitter: UN Geneva, Acting UN High Commissioner for Human Rights 
Twitter: Health Professionals Network for Tigray
Five killed in renewed intercommunal clashes in West Kordofan
 

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.