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Situation Report EEPA HORN No. 39 – 28 December 2020

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.

Reported situation in Ethiopia (as confirmed per 28 December)

– Fears that the security operation by the Ethiopian National Defence Forces in the Metekel Zone of Benishangul Gumuz region will especially target ethnic Gumuz.

– The fears of an ethnic profiling in Gumuz was further aroused by a hate-speech tweet of an official of the Amhara Regional state, Asemahegn Aseres: “We have to defend ourselves. They don’t let us live. Let us not allow them to live. We are confronted with existential threat. As the former president said, the question is; shall we be vanished or shall they. The choice is clear. They have to vanish!”, where “the former president” refers to Mengistu Hailemariam; and “they have to vanish” to the Gumuz people.

Regional situation (as confirmed per 28 December)

– Three people have been injured by Somali and AMISOM forces in a peaceful protest calling for the release of 50 people arrested during security operations. Soldiers shot into the crowd.

– Special Kenya Defense Forces carry out an operation to storm an Al Shabaab military camp in Boni Forest. Several Al Shabaab militants were killed and the camp was destroyed.

– The Sudanese governor of Blue Nile died in a car crash on his way to Khartoum.

– Negotiations on the border demarcation between Sudan and Ethiopia failed. The negotiators decided to hand the file to the political leadership of the two countries.

– The Sudanese minister of information has said that the Sudanese army has taken control of most of the land it says Ethiopia was encroaching on. It has taken control of 11 settlements that Ethiopian militias were controlling. Among the recaptured settlements are: Asmaro, Lebbaki, Pasha, Lamlam, Melkamo, Males, Ashkar, Arqa, Umm Pasha Teddy.

– According to the report in the Sudan Tribune, the Sudanese army expelled the Amhara forces and militias from the settlement of “Lilli” where army commanders, major traders and farmers of the Amhara ethnic group were based. Over a thousand Ethiopian farmers are living in these areas.

– Military sources review to the Sudan tribune newspaper that Eritrean army forces moved from the city of Umm Hajar, located on the border between Sudan and Eritrea, to Abd al Rafi area on the border between Sudan and Ethiopia. They were carrying heavy weaponry, according to the report.

– Unconfirmed reports that Sudan will receive extensive financial support from the Middle East.

Situation in Tigray

– Reported that Ethiopian troops in Mekelle city, Tigray, are checking mobile phones of citizens with a view to delete the videos and photos related to the military operations, in an apparent attempt to delete evidence of any potential wrongdoing.

– Reported in social media that more than seven Amhara special forces have raided Eritrean refugee camps in Tigray (no specific report on name of the camp ) and confiscated more than 100 mobile smartphones.

– The Tigray interim provisional government makes a statement that it will work with the youth.

– A leader of TPLF, who is the former deputy mayor of Addis Ababa, addressed youth in Tigray on facebook: “In our current struggle for self-determination, the role of the youth is very important. So, any youth who can and wants to join the struggle, shall join Tigray defence forces directly or shall go to members of the Tigray regional government leadership and fight in an organized manner to free Tigray.

– Report that 60 civilians were killed by Ethiopian National Defense Forces and Eritrean forces while hiding in a church in a small village called Tashi (ጣሺ), which is approximately 60 km from Mekelle.

– It is reported that five members of one family were killed by Eritrean forces at Dengelat St Mary church, Edagahamus Tigray. List of the members killed: Kahsay Gebremeskel; Solomon Kahsay Gebremeskel; Haftom Kahsay Gebremeskel; Semere Rezene / grandson of Birhan Gebremeskel; Dawit Mulu Tsegay/ grandson of Amit Gebremeskel.

– Confirmation of yesterday’s report that Debesom Abraha, a well known Tigrayan businessman, was killed in his house in Adigrat, Tigray, by Eritrean troops.

Reported International dimension (as confirmed per 27 December)

– Egypt and Sudan have come to an agreement regarding Sudanese use of Egyptian ports. Major works are taking place in Port Sudan. Consequently Egypt is allowing Sudanese use of its ports for import and export purposes. Tariffs and customs will not apply if the goods are going directly to Sudan.

– Confirmation of yesterday’s report. Dimsti Woyane (DW) Television started to operate from the USA with a first broadcast on facebook: The programme was presented by Liliti Gebru Hagos, a former journalist of ETV Tigrigna program.


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.

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