Peace negotiations (per 17 March)

  • The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat met in Addis Ababa on 16 March and discussed global and regional priorities. 
  • Moussa Faki Mahamat said that they “exchanged views regarding progress in the implementation of the Cessation of Hostilities agreement and other regional issues of mutual interest.” 
  • Tigray spokesperson Getachew Reda said he met US secretary Antony Blinken in Addis Ababa.
  • He said, “Yesterday [March 15], I was in Addis to meet Secretary Blinken and brief him on the progress in the implementation of the peace agreement and the stumbling going forward.”
  • He also said the Tigray government is ready to address remaining issues including forming an interim administration: “We have reaffirmed our unwavering commitment to peace and rise up to the challenges posed by forces bent on sabotaging peace, […]”. 
  • He stated that he discussed with Blinken the need to ensure accountability for “crimes committed in the war on and in Tigray.” 
  • He added “it’s our position that accountability for crimes in Tigray goes beyond a national framework hence the need for international efforts.” 
  • According to Getachew, Secretary Blinken expressed commitment to strengthen endeavours to mobilise resources for humanitarian support and rehabilitation. 
  • The Secretary reportedly also said the US will continue to engage parties to the CoH Agreement in order to realise the peace and stability of the entire region.

Situation in Tigray (per 17 March)

  • Dr. Fasika Amdeslasie, Surgeon at Ayder Hospital in Mekelle, said while civil servants of the federal government have started receiving their salaries, those of the regional government have not.
  • Shortage of medicines continues in Tigray. The director of General Hospital in Mekelle told DW they could only provide 10% – 20% of prescriptions. “It’s been almost four months since the [CoH] agreement has been signed. I would have expected these things to be provided by now.”
  • The director stated the hospital treated around 500 survivors of conflict-related sexual violence during the war. He stated the sexual violence committed by Eritrean soldiers was particularly brutal. 
  • Tens of thousands of Tigrayans are still feeling the trauma of their imprisonment during the war, reports French newspaper, Libération.  
  • Angesom (34) speaks of his experience in and after prison. He says that he was taken to the Mizan Aman detention camp because all the prisons in the capital were packed. He adds that prisoners were beaten to death, did not receive enough water and were underfed. 
  • Upon his return to Addis Ababa, he did not want to stay in his old neighbourhood and could not access his assets because they were all still frozen. He cut ties with his non-Tigrayan friends because of the ethnic divide. This was similar for many other Tigrayans. 

Situation in Ethiopia (per 17 March)

  • About 100 000 refugees from Somalia arrived in the Dollo zone of Ethiopia’s Somali region since the beginning of February this year, reports WHO in Ethiopia.
  • The refugees consist largely of women and children as well as wounded and sick people and they are said to be in dire need of humanitarian assistance.
  • WHO Ethiopia said it is increasing its response to enhance essential health services. 
  • Dr Nonhlanhla Dlamini, Acting WHO Representative to Ethiopia, said “There is the need for increased partner presence and robust coordination mechanisms to support the government’s response in a well-coordinated approach.”

Regional Situation (per 17 March)

  • A new Sudanese government will reportedly be established in April, according to a press conference of Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) in Khartoum on 16 March. 
  • Taha Osman, a member of the FFC negotiating team, said “a final agreement will be signed and the structures of the transitional authority will be formed during the holy month of Ramadan.”
  • The ‘Democratic Bloc’ rejected the framework agreement, stating that calls for amending it were disregarded. 

International Situation (per 17 March)

  • Germany agreed to support the activities of the national rehabilitation commission of Ethiopia, according to Fana Broadcasting Corporate.
  • Ambassador Teshome Toga, commissioner of Ethiopia’s national rehabilitation commission, and German Ambassador in Addis Ababa, Stephan Auer, discussed the preparatory works and partnership areas of the institution.
  • The US has signed a deal with the Somali government to continue strengthening of the Danab Brigade in Somalia amidst the fight against al-Shabaab, states Garowe Online.
  • This includes financing of training and providing the elite troops with 300 USD in monthly stipends.
  • USAFRICOM plays a “unique and irreplaceable” role in Somalia, according to a statement from Michael Langley, United States Africa Command, before the US Senate Armed Services Committee. 
  • “To preserve their battlefield progress and degrade al-Shabaab on an enduring basis, Somalia needs U.S. governance and development support more than ever,” stated Langley.
  • Langley stated the US conducted 15 airstrikes against al-Shabaab last year.

Links of interest

Twitter: Moussa Faki Mahamat on his meeting with Antony Blinken 
Twitter: Getachew Reda on his meeting with US secretary Antony Blinken 
Twitter: Dr Fasika Amdeslasie on salaries in Tigray 
In Ethiopia’s Tigray war, rape is used as a weapon
«L’Ethiopie n’est plus un pays pour moi» : la confiance brisée des Tigréens d’Addis-Abebaz
World Health Organization in Ethiopia steps up health response to Somali refugees 
ጀርመን የብሄራዊ ተሃድሶ ኮሚሽን ስራዎች እንዲሳኩ ድጋፍ እንደምታደርግ ገለጸች 
New Sudanese government to be formed in April 
US Signs deal to continue training Somalia’s special forces
statement of – Senate Armed Services Committee