Situation Report EEPA HORN No. 160 – 02 June 2021

Situation Report EEPA HORN No. 160 – 02 June 2021

Europe External Programme with Africa (Martinplaut)—-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.

Reported situation in Tigray (per 01 June)

  • The Guardian says Eritrean soldiers killed 19 civilians in Tigray three weeks ago. Most of the victims in the alleged attack were women and young children.
  • Multiple witnesses told The Guardian that the killings were perpetrated by Eritrean soldiers in a small rural settlement on steep slopes below the fifth-century stone church of Abuna Yemata on May 8.
  • A document from Ayder Referral hospital in Mekelle shows that between November 4 and May 21, 503 women and young girls were seen at Ayder Referral hospital after being raped mainly by Ethiopia’s and Eritrea’s soldiers.
  • 91 of them were under 18 years of age, among them a child under 5. 238 women and underage girls had unwanted pregnancy after having been raped.
  • The United Nations said over 90% of people in the Tigray region need emergency food aid.
  • The UN World Food Programme voiced alarm that the conflict had caused an increase in hunger levels which were already high in Tigray.
  • “A total of 5.2 million people, equivalent to 91 percent of Tigray’s population, need emergency food assistance due to the conflict,” said Tomson Phiri, WFP spokesperson.
  • The WFP said it had provided emergency aid to more than a million people since it started distributions in northwestern and southern areas of Tigray in March.
  • “WFP is alarmed at the impact of conflict on hunger levels and we are deeply concerned at the number of people we see in need of nutrition support and emergency food assistance,” said Phiri.
  • Phiri added: “The WFP is calling for $203 million to continue to scale up its response in Tigray to save lives and livelihoods through to the end of the year.”
  • The WFP also said the instability was undermining the efforts of humanitarian workers to reach vulnerable communities in Tigray, especially in rural areas.
  • “A ceasefire and unimpeded access are vital for WFP and all its partners in Tigray to reach all areas and all people desperately in need of lif-saving support,” added Phiri.
  • The WFP further said almost half of pregnant or breastfeeding mothers in 53 villages were either moderately or acutely malnourished, while almost a quarter of all children screened were found to be malnourished.
  • UNICEF has said that it has identified over 6.000 unaccompanied children in Tigray. It also says that of the at least 1.6 Million IDPs, over 720 thousand are children.
  • UNICEF says that “Adolescents boys speak of fear of recruitment and use by parties to the conflict.” UNICEF and its partners also continue to report arbitrary detentions.
  • UNICEF has also said that since the outbreak of the conflict in November 2020, over 540 women and girls, who are GBV and rape survivors, have received help from UNICEF programmes.
  • They also say that their teams and those of partners, continue to be blocked; “Much of Tigray remains inaccessible to humanitarian workers. Since the beginning of April, at least 31 missions by mobile health, nutrition and water teams supported by UNICEF and partners have been blocked, either due to insecurity or because they were harassed and denied passage.”
  • Reported in social media that ethnic Tigrayans were denied getting new passports. Tigray state was also removed from the Ethiopian Immigration Nationality and Vital Events Agency application system.

Reported Situation in Ethiopia (per 01 June)

  • The US Embassy in Addis Ababa said the U.S has deepening concerns about the ongoing crisis in Tigray.
  • The Embassy stated without an immediate cessation of hostility and a rapid expansion of humanitarian access, current and significant food insecurity could lead to famine.
  • “The Secretary of State has announced a policy to prevent issuance of visas for any current or former Ethiopian or Eritrean government officials, members of the security forces, or other individuals—to include Amhara regional and irregular forces and members of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) responsible for, or complicit in, undermining resolution of the crisis there,” said the embassy.
  • The United States continues to welcome all others to apply for visas to travel to the United States for work, study and as immigrants. The Consular Section is open for business but respecting COVID-mitigation.
  • The National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) said election will not take place in four constituencies in the Benshangul-Gumuz region. A list of 40 constituencies in 6 regions where election will not take place as per schedule was also issued by the NEBE.

Reported Situation in the Horn region (per 01 June)

  • Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has disclosed that Ethiopia is planning to build over a hundred dams across the country. He made the comments while launching an expressway to increase trade relations with Djibouti.
  • The Egyptian Foreign minister has decried the announcement saying that there has been no proper consultation with countries that might be affected.
  • Egypt has also announced that it will use its share at the IMF to help settle part of Sudan’s debt.

International situation (per 01 June)

  • The French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs said they are deeply concerned about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the Tigray region.
  • The Ministry added the existing food crisis will be exacerbated if farmers can’t plant now. France joins the international call for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire. Unhindered delivery of humanitarian aid depends on it.
  • U.S Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa Jeffrey Feltman is traveling to Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kenya from May 31 to June 6.
  • Feltman meets senior officials of the four countries to discuss cooperative approaches to supporting a stable and prosperous Horn of Africa, including a resolution of the dispute over the GERD that is acceptable to all parties.
  • EEPA is holding a Webinar on Voices From Tigray Brutalities against Religious leaders, Holy Places, and Heritage in Tigray on June 8th, 14:00-16:00 EAT, 13:00-15:00 CET, 07.00-09.00 U.S East. The registration link is: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_w_2_EZNvQqa0IuRWLdBWeQ

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. The publication is weighed on the basis of interest to understand the 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 the 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.

Links of interest

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jun/01/eritrean-soldiers-killed-19-civilians-in-latest-tigray-atrocity-locals-claim

https://www.unicef.org/press-releases/children-northern-ethiopia-dire-need-protection-and-assistance

https://news.yahoo.com/over-90-ethiopias-tigray-emergency-091058361.html

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