SITUATION REPORT – HORN OF AFRICA No. 383, 03 March 2023

Peace negotiations (per 03 March)

  • In yesterday’s Situation Report, No. 382, a statement prepared for the UNHRC 52 by the EU on Ethiopia and related to the mandate of the ICHREE was included. This statement was different from the final version that was actually delivered. The reason for the change is unknown.
  • The EU statement that was delivered at the UNHCR 52 did not include any reference to the ICHREE.
  • Ethiopia’s Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen confirmed that Ethiopia had prepared a resolution to block the mandate of the UN Commission investigating war crimes in Ethiopia in a speech to the UN Human Rights Council, but he did not read that part of his speech, states VOA.
  • The conference for establishing an interim government in Tigray produced a statement on the need for ensuring the participation of opposition parties, Tigray Defense Forces, scholars, and civic society organisations.
  • The Conference addressed the mandate of the interim government, its organisational structure, and power-sharing arrangements.
  • The Conference decided that the term of the interim government will be 6 months to one year and that an election has to take place within that time.
  • It stated: ”Before and above all, we will struggle for the existence and security of our people.”
  • It also added, “The interim government that is being established under a difficult situation has heavy responsibility on its shoulders and it will work to meet the interests of the people of Tigray with a focus on the attention deserving patriots, disarmed fighters, and heroines.”
  • The statement called on the opposition parties, the federal government, and the international community to support the interim government. 
  • The structure of the interim government includes a president from the Tigray People’s Liberation Front and two vice presidents to be represented by Tigray Defense Forces and Scholars, stated UMD media.
  • Tigray-based opposition parties have also been given six seats in the cabinet of the interim government, adds UMD media.
  • The formation of an interim government in Tigray is part of the provisions of the Pretoria Cessation of Hostilities Agreement. The agreement stipulates that the Ethiopian Federal Government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front will establish the interim government in consultation with each other. 

Situation in Tigray (per 03 March)

  • The healthcare situation in Tigray remains dire, states ICRC Regional Director for Africa, Patrick Youssef, who just returned from the region.
  • “We are in a painful situation where a lack of drivers, fuel, and spare parts means loss of life during individual health emergencies,” he stated.
  • He heard horrific stories of survivors of sexual violence, warning that people cannot work through those traumas without appropriate care. 
  • He also warns that unexploded ordinances across Tigray form a severe risk to safety. 
  • WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom, called for “Eritrea’s continued massacring of civilians in Tigray to stop. Peace is the first priority towards recovery.”

Situation in Ethiopia (per 03 March)

  • Ethiopian security forces used excessive measures against people gathered around Menelik Square for the 127th year celebrations of the victory of Adwa and a religious congregation in nearby Saint George Church on 02 March, says the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC). 
  • People targeted included older persons and children. The violence resulted in at least one death, and several bodily injuries. The Ethiopian government blamed persons wanting to disrupt the celebrations for the escalation.
  • The Addis Ababa Diocese of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (EOTC) stated that many followers of the religion were injured and the spiritual ceremony was stopped due to tear gas thrown at the church. 
  • UNHCR reports that it and partners are currently supporting 655,531 IDPs in 66 sites (90% collective centers) in Amhara and Tigray regions.

Regional Situation (per 03 March)

  • Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Kenya will send additional troops to support Somali forces against al-Shabaab in the next phase of military operations, says the national security adviser for the Somali president Hussein Sheikh-Ali.
  • The new troops will be part of the African Transitional Mission in Somalia (ATMIS).
  • The security advisor said “It is their plan to be coming inside Somalia within eight weeks [..] Their role is to jointly plan and jointly operate under the command of the Somali security forces”.
  • The Ugandan Government pledged to establish an information centre for Eritreans in Uganda to improve ties between Eritrea and Uganda and attract more investment into Uganda, reports Monitor. 

International Situation (per 03 March)

  • The Political and Security Committee (PSC) of the European Union has approved additional support of €85 million for the Somali National Army (SNA) and €25 million for the military component of the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS), according to the European Council. 
  • The financial support aims to enable the ATMIS to strengthen the capacity of the SNA and then transfer security responsibility from the former to the latter.

Links of interest

A statement of resolutions of a conference for establishing an intern government in Tigray 
Tigray Interim government composition 
Twitter: WHO DG Tedros Adhanom on continued civilian security in Tigray n Tigray 
Ethiopia: even during period of peace, lasting humanitarian consequences of the conflict remain
Ethiopia: Camp Coordination and Camp Management – Afar, Amhara, and Tigray Regions | January – December 2022 
News: Ethiopian Rights Commission says one killed during 127th Adwa victory celebrations, EOTC accuses police of forcefully disrupting spiritual services 
EU support to Somalia: Council approves further support under the European Peace Facility to the Somali National Army and to the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) 
Govt to set up information centre for Eritreans
Somalia’s Neighbors to Send Additional Troops to Fight Al-Shabab 
Rights Groups Alarmed by Ethiopian Effort to Cut Short Tigray War Crimes Probe

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.