EEPA Situation Report – Horn of Africa – No. 261, 05 September 2022

Situation in Tigray & Amhara (per 05 September)

  • Bloomberg says hundreds of former UN peacekeepers originating from the Tigray region have joined a battle for the  strategic town of Humera in western Tigray.
  • Many of the peacekeepers requested asylum in Sudan following the outbreak of the conflict in November 2020. According to the Sudan Tribune, 217 were granted asylum.
  • The town of Humera is strategically significant as it lies at an intersection between Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Sudan and  would open up supply corridors to Tigray.
  • Fierce fighting between Tigray forces and Ethiopian federal government allied forces continued on Sunday near the Sudan-Ethiopia-Eritrea border triangle.
  • Sudan urged humanitarian aid agencies to evacuate the Hamdayet border reception centre with Ethiopia after clashes near the Sudanese border intensified.
  • Sudan also plans to evacuate civilians residing in the area as Sudanese military reinforcements were deployed in both Hamdayet and Qudimah.
  • Getachew Reda, the spokesman of the Tigray government, confirmed that the former peacekeepers had entered western Tigray.
  • Sources on the ground report that the town of Shire in the northwestern Tigray region was bombed by airstrikes on Friday.
  • There have been unconfirmed reports that the ENDF has withdrawn from the town of Sekota in the Amhara region.
  • A video was leaked reportedly showing a TB drone striking Mekelle. The footage shows the drone striking a warehouse.
  • A person told AP news that he has noticed an increase in aerial traffic around Lalibela. The Ethiopian government has been accused of using Ethiopian airlines to transport troops.

Situation in Ethiopia & Eritrea (per 05 September)

  • Reportedly Eritrean troops have been more aggressive in rounding up youths in Eritrea for military service. There has been a report of Eritrean troops locking families up in their homes when they were not able to find the youths they were looking for.
  • Eritrean soldiers have reportedly also raided mosques and Catholic schools.
  • The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Ethiopia said that they are “deeply saddened to note that the war has resumed in the area”.
  • The Ethiopian government announced that it is opening the country’s banking sector to foreign investors with the aim of drawing investment from abroad.
  • In an opinion paper for the  Atlantic, former chief of mission at the US embassy Steve Walker reveals his experience in Eritrea. He says that Eritrea’s government is a totalitarian regime and “no amount of ‘engagement’ will change them.”
  • He says that the country is a “human-rights house of horrors”, with civilians being routinely detained with no charge, secret police and informers everywhere, indefinite conscription, and a requirement for  “circulation papers” to travel within the country.
  • He says that he arrived in Asmara in 2019 eager to engage and hoping to “improve ties between the U.S. and Eritrea”. This however is impossible, as “The Eritrean regime loves to “engage”’, but they  will only “compromise on process but not on principles.”
  • Walker says that the West should “counter totalitarian regimes’ efforts to propagate misinformation” and end the normalisation of human right violations.
  • Lastly he adds that Eritrea dangerously destabilises the entire Horn region by instigating and involving itself in many regional conflicts, the lastest being in Tigray.

Regional Situation (per 05 September)

  • The Kenyan supreme court has upheld the election of  William Ruto as the 5th president of Kenya.
  • US Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis reportedly told a UNSC meeting that Al-Shabaab militants have started to use drones to carry out attacks and gather intelligence.
  • Al Shabaab killed 20 people during an attack on the Somali region of Hiran.
  • The United Nations said that Somalia will likely face a famine by the end of the year. It is likely to be worse than in 2010 and 2011. Years of drought and crop failures make a famine more likely.

International Situation (per 05 September)

  • The White House announced that US special envoy to the Horn Mike Hammer will travel to the region to meet with all the parties involved in the conflict and push for a ceasefire.
  • It also condemned the resumption of hostilities, and Eritrea’s reentry into the conflict. It added that “There is no military solution to the conflict”.
  • The US, France, UK,  Ireland, Norway and Albania have requested a UNSC meeting on Ethiopia. The meeting is supposed to take place on Thursday 8 September.

Links of interest

Ex-UN Peacekeepers Battle for Control of Key Ethiopian Town: Bloomberg

Ethiopia plans to open up banking sector to foreign investors: Reuters 

Sudan grants asylum to over 200 Ethiopian ex-UN peacekeepers

Sudan orders aid groups to evacuate border area with Ethiopia

Press Briefing by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, September 2, 2022

Twitter: UNSC Ethiopia meeting

Twitter: Footage drone strike on Mekelle

Al-Shabaab using drones to attack Somali troops

Supreme Court upholds William Ruto’s election as Kenya’s 5th President

Al-Shabab kills at least 20, burns food trucks in Somalia

Renewed conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region said widening

UN humanitarian chief warns of looming famine in Somalia

Catholic Bishops in Ethiopia “deeply saddened” By Resumption of Fighting in Tigray

Totalitarianism Is Still With Us


Europe External Programme with Africa is a Belgium-based Centre of Expertise with in-depth knowledge, publications, and networks, specialised in issues of peacebuilding, refugee protection, and resilience in the Horn of Africa. EEPA has published extensively on issues related to the 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. The Situation Reports can be found here. To receive the situation report in your email, click here. You can unsubscribe at any moment through the link at the bottom of each email.

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.

One comment

  1. I am praying that God will intervene to protect Tigray. Neither Isaias nor Abiy are gods and judgement day is coming!

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