Peace negotiations (per 1 March )

  • A conference with attendance of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), Tigray forces, civic society organisations, and other stakeholders has taken place in Mekelle to establish an interim government.
  • General Tadesse Worede, commander of Tigray Defense Forces (TDF) and head of the interim government establishing committee, said the participants of the conference consists of 30% from TPLF, 25% from TDF, 15% from opposition parties, and 30% from civic society organisations.
  • Tadesse Worede said that the outcomes of this conference will be taken by the Tigray peace negotiation team for consultation with the federal government. 
  • Participants elected Dr Debretsion Gebremichael, Tadesse Worede and three other other participants to moderate the conference, says Dimtsi Woyane.
  • Eritrean forces reportedly killed over 300 civilians in about 10 villages around Adwa in Tigray only a few days prior to the signing of the Cessation of Hostilities (CoH) Agreement, reports The Washington Post. Satellite images have confirmed the evidence from the ground.
  • Ethiopian Human Rights Committee chief, Daniel Bekele, states that many other incidents were reported which would require further investigation under the transitional justice mechanism agreed in the CoH Agreement.

Situation in Tigray  (per 1 March )

  • The Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, Abune Matthias, has arrived in Mekelle, the capital of Tigray to attend the funeral of Abune Yohannes II, according to Tigrai Television.
  • The patriarch was welcomed by the Archbishop and the leadership of the Supreme Priesthood of Menbere Selama Kesate Birhan of the Tigray Orthodox Tewahedo Church.
  • A delegation from the Ethiopian Ministry of Health visited Mekelle Ayder Hospital to observe the challenges of the hospital including lack of medications, budget, and salary, reports the hospital.
  • Three Tigray-based opposition parties have sent a letter to the representatives of 32 countries, calling them to give attention to “Tigray genocide”, reports Tghat citing a joint letter from the parties.
  • In the letter, the opposition parties urged the international community to rebuff Ethiopia’s attempt to end the mandate of the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia (ICHREE).

Situation in Ethiopia  (per 1 March )

  • Ethiopian prime minister Abiy Ahmed has reportedly convened top leaders of Oromo and Amhara politicians to resolve the differences between them. 
  • The regional government of Oromia intends to restructure its zonal administration. This will include merging some of existing cities and restructuring some of sub-cities and city districts. This decision aims to address urban development as well as create more effective service provision. 
  • The restructuring reportedly led to protests and clashes in Guji.
  • The Ethiopia Humanitarian Response Plan requires US$3.99 billion for humanitarian support to over 20 million people across the country in 2023 including 4.6 million internally displaced people.
  • The humanitarian response in Ethiopia this year aims at addressing immediate lifesaving needs, providing safe and inclusive access to essential services, and contributing to support and build linkages towards recovery and resilience.

Regional Situation  (per 1 March )

  • An estimated 95.000 new refugees have crossed into the Doolo and Warder zones in Ethiopia from Somalia since the beginning of February 2023, according to the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations.
  • The displaced persons are fleeing from the conflict in Laascaanood of the Somaliland region where at least 112 people have been killed since the beginning of February.
  • The EU is reported to have warned that more arrivals are expected due to the tense situation.
  • In Somalia, over 6.3 million people are expected to face worse food insecurity outcomes during the January to March 2023 period and 322.000 of them could face catastrophic hunger, according to WFP Somalia. Conflict and drought displaced about 288.000 people in Somalia in January 2023. 

International Situation  (per 1 March )

  • 63 Civil society organisations sign a statement calling on permanent members and observers of the UN Human Rights Council to prevent termination of the mandate of the ICHREE. It comes as a reaction to Ethiopia’s attempts to stop ICHREE’s mandate. 
  • Statement says “Not only does it suggest that states can politically manoeuvre to overturn the decisions of the Human Rights Council to avoid independent scrutiny and accountability, but it could also set a dangerous precedent regarding international scrutiny and impunity for rights abuses elsewhere.” 
  • Ethiopia is circulating a resolution to end the mandate of the UN investigation inquiry body into atrocities in the war in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, according to Reuters which cited five diplomats. 
  • Eritrean President, Isaias Afwerki, travelled to Saudi Arabia for a two day visit to discuss bilateral issues. The visit took place on an invitation by the Government of Saudi Arabia. 

Links of interest

Conference for the establishment of interim government in Tigray underway in Mekelle 
Moderators of the interim government establishing conference 
Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Church Patriarch arrives in Mekelle, capital of Tigray 
Twitter: Ayder Mekelle Hospital 
Tigray opposition parties call attention for justice. 
Hundreds massacred in Ethiopia even as peace deal was being reached
Youtube: PM Abiy convenes key meeting of top Amhara & Oromo leaders 
Ethiopia: Humanitarian Response Plan 2023 (February 2023) 
Oromia region announces restructuring of major cities
WFP Somalia: Famine Prevention Response Situation Report (January 2023) 
UN warns humanitarian needs grow in Sudan 
Ethiopia – Increasing refugee arrivals from Somalia (DG ECHO, UNHCR) (ECHO Daily Flash of 27 February 2023)
Threats to Terminate the Mandate of the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia
Exclusive: Ethiopia seeks to end U.N.-ordered probe into Tigray war abuses 
Twitter: Yemane G. Meskel

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 any additional information and corrections.