EEPA Situation Report – Horn of Africa – No. 258, 31 August 2022

Situation in Tigray, Amhara, & Afar (per 31 August)

  • Reuters says airstrikes hit the regional capital of Tigray, Mekelle, late on Tuesday.
  • A doctor from Ayder hospital told Reuters that he heard three explosions Tuesday night.
  • The chief executive of Ayder Referral Hospital, Dr Kibrom Gebreselassie, said on Twitter that an area near the Mekelle General Hospital was bombed by a drone attack around midnight.
  • He said casualties were arriving at Ayder hospital and that the extent of the damage and casualties was not clear.
  • The Tigray spokesman Getachew Reda accused the Ethiopian government of deliberately targeting Mekelle Hospital.
  • TDF Chief Gen. Tadesse Worede stated on Tigrai TV that Ethiopian and Eritrean troops have shelled Adiabo and other places in northwestern Tigray.
  • The Ethiopian government said that the TDF has launched an offensive towards “Wag, Wolkait and our border areas with Sudan”. These areas are in Western Tigray, which the Ethiopian government occupied since the start of the conflict.
  • Western Tigray has been claimed by both Tigray and Amhara. Prof. Jan Nyssen of the University of Ghent has made a compilation of the region’s history.
  • The town of Lalibela, a UNESCO World Heritage site, has issued a curfew and restrictions on movement. The town in the Amhara region was fought over earlier in the war, with control switching sides several times.
  • Debre Birhan, Kombolcha, and Sekota, all in Amhara, have also announced curfews.
  • The Ethiopian government is accused of using Ethiopian Airlines to transport soldiers and weapons to Northern Ethiopia towns such as Dessie (Amhara region), Semera (Afar region) and Lalibela (Amhara).

Situation in Ethiopia (per 31 August)

  • The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission says that it is worried about the “renewal” of fighting. It calls for a ceasefire, and urges parties to “uphold their obligations to preserve the lives, security, physical and moral integrity, and dignity of all civilians affected by armed conflict.”
  • The EHRC also calls on the UN, AU, and the wider international community to facilitate dialogue.
  • The Assistant Federal Police Commissioner Berhanu Abebe announced that 111 media outlets have been charged with “working to make Ethiopia a center of violence” during the last Ethiopian fiscal year. The charged media outlets were not recognised by the Ethiopian Media Authority and thus are considered illegal.
  • A Human Rights Watch (HRW) report states that the Ethiopian government did little to prevent the killings of civilians in Western Oromia in June 2022.
  • HRW says several hundreds of Amhara civilians in Western Oromia were killed by an armed group in June 2022 despite government forces being stationed in nearby areas.
  • According to the HRW report about 400 Amhara civilians, including women and children, were shot and killed by armed militants on 18 June 2022 in villages in Tole and Sene kebeles.
  • The NGO iMMAP has released an overview report on gender-based violence in Ethiopia. It looks at data from January 2021 to February 2022.
  • It found that since the start of the conflict in Tigray in November 2020, over 1.300 documented rapes have taken place, with potentially many more going unreported. It adds that “gang rape, mass rape, and psychological abuse during rape were reported in recent years in relation to conflict.“
  • Damage to health facilities and looting in the regions of Tigray, Amhara and Afar have hindered the provision of care for the victims of conflict-related gender-based violence and has worsened the conditions for survivors, states the report.
  • The OLA claims that it has overrun an Ethiopian military camp Arjo-Didhessa in Oromia.
  • The Foreign Affairs head of the Tigrayan opposition party Salsay Woyane Tigray, Hailu Kebede, has been  arrested in Addis Ababa.
  • There have been reports that the Ethiopian government has increased the arrests and detentions of ethnic Tigrayans in Addis Ababa.

Regional Situation (per 31 August)

  • Sudan has summoned the Ethiopian ambassador over statements he has made regarding the plane Ethiopia allegedly shot down on 24 August 2022. The Ethiopian ambassador said the Sudanese plane was loaded with weapons for Tigray. Sudan says that the accusations are unfounded.

International Situation (per 31 August)

  • An Eritrean festival in Oslo, Norway, which was supposed to take place on Saturday 3 September, has reportedly been cancelled.

Links of interest

Air strike hits capital of Ethiopia’s Tigray region – health official

Twitter: Tigrai TV

Civilians in Western Oromia of Ethiopia left unprotected: HRW

Twitter: Ethiopian Airlines used to transport soldiers and weapons

EHRC Statement on the resumption of conflict in Northern Ethiopia

Ethiopia: News – Lalibela Imposes Curfew, Movement Restrictions, Unauthorized Firearm Possession

Sudan summons Ethiopian ambassador over alleged downed plane

Gender-Based Violence in Ethiopia Crisis Overview Report, August 2022

News: Fed. Police file charges against 111 “illegal digital media” outlets 

Twitter: OLA Statement on capturing Ethiopian base

Twitter: Ethiopian government Statement

Prof. Jan Nyssen: maps of Western Tigray

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.

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