SITUATION REPORT – HORN OF AFRICA

No. 294, 20 October 2022
 Situation in Tigray (per 20 October)

  • According to BBC Tigrigna, Prof. Kindeya Gebrehiwot, member of the Tigray leadership, says that the town of Korem in southern Tigray is under the control of Tigray Defence Forces (TDF).
  • The Ethiopian government said in a statement on 18 October that the towns of Shire, Alamata and Korem had been taken over by ENDF/EDF.
  • Kindeya told the BBC on 19 October that the Ethiopian government’s claims that it had taken control of Korem town were untrue. He added that heavy fighting is ongoing on various fronts.
  • The Central Command of Tigray confirmed on Monday that Ethiopian and Eritrean forces have entered the town of Shire.
  • William Davison, senior analyst for Ethiopia at the International Crisis Group, warns that if Tigrayan forces retreat to the mountains, Ethiopian federal forces may target civilians in an attempt to break the spirit of resistance.
  • A western diplomat speaking anonymously to Foreign Policy claimed that Ethiopia and Eritrea could be planning “concentration camps” to isolate the TPLF from its support base
  • He fears the west could render itself complicit to this by funding the IDP camps via the EU, UN or aid agencies, allowing PM Abiy to control the depopulated Tigray as a trade corridor to Djibouti and Sudan.
  • A European diplomat describes the situation as a total failure of US and EU diplomacy.
  • Merkeb Negash Yimesel, Tigrayan representative in Brussels, described the renewed attack by ENDF/EDF as a genocide and accuses the Ethiopian governement of forced relocation of Tigrayans to IDP camps. 
  • BBC shares images captured by satellite showing the impact of the ENDF/EDF military campaign and service and utilities deprivation on Tigray as captured from space between 2020-2022. Lights in the cities dim as power is cut off by the Ethiopian government when the cities are under Tigray control; the impact of targeting vital electricity infrastructure like the Tekeze Hydroelectric Dam can also be seen.
  • Ayder Comprehensive Specialised Hospital said that more than 2,000 cancer patients in the hospital have not received any form of treatment for the last two years.
  • General Tsadkan Gebretensae of the TDF, in a message following the fall of Shire, warns that the world is about to witness another genocide; 
  • He also states that Tigrayan forces will refuse to put down their arms as their survival as a people is at stake. 

Situation in Ethiopia (per 20 October)

  • The National Security Advisor to PM Abiy, Ambassador Redwan Hussien, said on Twitter that the AU Commission informed them that peace talks are scheduled for 24 October, to be held in South Africa.
  • According to AP News, Tigrayan authorities have yet to respond to this new schedule, but has previously indicated it is ready to engage in peace talks, provided the parameters are clear. The identity of the mediator for the new talks has yet to be made public.
  • Abune Mathias, Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, questioned the silence of the church on the  war in Tigray over the past two years in front of delegates from Ethiopia’s dioceses.
  • The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Ethiopia says it has distributed essential household items to  3,310 households (16,550 individuals) sheltered in Horo Guduru Wollega of the Oromia region.

Regional Situation (per 20 October)

  • On 19 October, Salva Kiir, South Sudan’s President, called for an improvement of relations with Sudan as a security broker in the region, calling on elders of the embattled Upper Nile region to strive for peace in the area.

International Situation (per 20 October)

  • Vicky Ford, UK Minister for Development, met Demeke Mekonnen Hassen, Ethiopian Minister of Foreign Affairs, to discuss a cessation of hostilities, joining AU-led peace talks, restarting humanitarian access to Tigray and that Eritrea troops withdraw from the region. 
  • She also called on the TPLF to “join” in cessation of hostilities and AU-led peace talks.
  • Eloi Ficquet,  editor-in-chief of Cahiers d’études africaines, stated to Libération that he believes the international community had already resigned itself to Tigray being sacrificed, explaining their unwillingness to strongly intervene in the conflict.
  • Tibor Nagy, US Ambassador to Guinea and Ethiopia, warns that, as former Ethiopian PM Meles experienced in 2000, the mountainous region of Tigray is very hard to control and that “Ethiopia doesn’t need an Afghanistan”. 

Links of interest
ከተማ ኮረም ኣብ ትሕቲ ቁጽጽሮም ከምዘላ መራሕቲ ትግራይ ገሊጾም: BBC Tigrigna News
እዋናዊ መግለፂ ማእኸላይ ኮማንድ: ብድሆታት ሰጊሩ ህዝባዊ መኸተና ይዕወት
Ethiopia says army has captured three towns from Tigray forces
Twitter: Ayder Comprehensive Specialized Hospital
Ethiopia’s Tigray conflict: Nasa shows how a war zone faded from space 
Au Tigré, les succès des forces éthiopiennes font craindre de nouveaux massacres
Ethiopia’s Tigray War Is a Humanitarian Crisis 
Twitter: Ambassador Redwan Hussien
Postponed AU peace talk to take place on 24 October in South Africa: Addis Standard
New October date set for talks in Ethiopia’s Tigray war
Twitter: The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Ethiopia
Twitter: Yonas Nigussie We Fear We’ll Be Judged By God, Man, History and Morally
S. Sudan’s Kiir says relations with Sudan will consolidate security 
Ethiopia’s Brutal War Escalates
Twitter: Vicky Ford Important meeting with Deputy PM @demekehasen today
Twitter: Tibor Nagy When Ethiopian troops broke thru Eritrean defenses in 2000, Meles stopped the advance 
UN genocide official: Hate speech is fueling Ethiopia’s war 

 
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.