Image: LGBT pride flag. Credit: Wikimedia Commons - Photo: 2020

Situation Report on Horn of Africa No. 24


Europe External Programme with Africa is a Belgium-based Centre of Expertise with in-depth knowledge, publications, and networks, specialised in issues of peace-building, refugee protection and resilience in the Horn of Africa. EEPA has published extensively on issues related to movement and/or human trafficking of refugees in the Horn of Africa and on the Central Mediterranean Route.

It cooperates with a wide network of universities, research organisations, civil society and experts from Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Djibouti, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Uganda and across Africa. Key in-depth publications can be accessed on the website.

Key information as confirmed by 13 Dec (in addition to what is already widely published)

Military situation

  • Bombardment of civilians and areas of TDF suspected bases were reported using drones and fighter jets around Central fronts of Tigray.
  • Reports of three convoys of military trucks carrying soldiers and three trucks which were heading to supply fuel to Ethiopian National Defence Forces (ENDF) have been destroyed by Tigray Defence Forces around Mayichaw, the capital of Southern Zone of Tigray.
  • Alerts on frequent bombing of Tembien (Tigray) with increasing number of confirmations, speaking of indiscriminate attacks, taking place “nonstop all day today involving a huge number of fighter jets and artillery firepower”
  • Massacre reported in Tembien, a small town of Guya, around 30km west of Abyiadi town where more than 20 civilians are slaughtered by the military according to reports.
  • Soldiers brought by helicopter to Tembien are terrorising civilians to give up the location of the elected President of the Tigray regional government, it is reported.

International dimension

  • The U.S. State Department warns any Eritrean forces in Ethiopia to withdraw, after finding reports of their presence there to be ‘credible’.
  • Mark Lowcock, the UN Under-Secretary-General for humanitarian affairs states that the United Nations and other humanitarian agencies need immediate and unfettered access to scale up urgently needed assistance and protection for vulnerable civilians, and to get safe passage to humanitarian workers and supplies to the affected region, in line with the globally agreed principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and operational independence.
  • UNHCR Envoy Vincent Cochetel states that “killing aid workers is a war crime with no statutory limitations.” after the killing of four aid workers in a refugee camp in Tigray.
  • Confirmed that two injured teenage Eritrean refugee boys, who were abducted by Eritrean troops from the Hitsats refugee camp in Tigray – where refugees were under international protection and taken back to Eritrea died two days ago at a clinic in Glass – Anseba (Eritrea).
  • The young woman and athlete, Letesenbet Gidey, originally from Tigray, world record holder of 5,000 meters was supposed to participate in the half marathon that took place in Valencia, Spain, last Sunday. Gidey never reached her destination.

Damage from the war

  • Reports of serious impact on woods and forests around the refugee camps in Sudan where 50.000 new refugees have arrived who use firewood for cooking.
  • Pictures of serious damage appear from Aksum.

The Situation refugees

  • ICRC reports that a convoy has reached Mekelle, Ethiopia, “carrying medicines and relief items that will be donated to healthcare facilities in urgent need of supplies” to treat the more than 400 injured and other patients hospitalized at Ayder, the main hospital.
  • The International Rescue Committee states it is still trying to confirm details around the killing of a colleague in the Hitsats refugee camp in Shire town, the base of aid operations.
  • An envoy of buses carrying over 400 Eritreans who had fled from refugee camps and other places in Tigray to Addis Ababa are deported back to Tigray. However, water, food and other goods are missing in the camps which have been the location of heavy fighting.

Ethnic profiling in Ethiopia

  • Ethnic profiling of Tigrians in Addis Ababa traffic police management, Addis Ababa police as well as federal police was reported, including arrest of those suspected and others were told they will be forcibly sent to military training (Estimated to be 200).
  • Ethnic profiling, harassment and arrest of family members of former and current TPLF leaders reported in Addis Ababa, incl. the family of Ambassador Seyoum Mesfin and Sekoture Getachaw.
  • Ethnic profiling of Tigrians living in low cost government owned houses in Addis Ababa.
  • NYT reports that ethnic Tigrayans in Ethiopia are “treated like criminal suspects and subjected to various forms of discrimination, harassment and abuse by government officials.” Reports include “being detained without charges, put under house arrest, and barred from traveling outside the country. Tigrayans say they have had their businesses shut down, homes ransacked and money extorted by security officials.”
  • Ethiopian Human Rights Commissioner, Daniel Bekele states that human rights issues have been worsening across Ethiopia, because of hatred and dispute among political actors.

Reported situation in Tigray

  • Reported from within Tigray: serious problem of lack of water.
  • Serious looting still ongoing from shops in Mekelle, perpetrated by Amharic militia and Eritreans as well as poverty stricken people benefiting from the lawless situation.

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.

Links of interest

Related Posts

Begin typing your search term above and press enter to search. Press ESC to cancel.

Back To Top