Military and Foreign Affairs Network: Tigray Defense Forces offensive continues

Military and Foreign Affairs Network: Tigray Defense Forces offensive continues


Tigray : TDF | Wolkait | Humera | Western Tigray

Ethiopian and Eritrean Soldiers interview in Tigray region


Situation Report EEPA HORN No. 181 – 05 July 2021

Tigray

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 organizations, 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 04 July)

  • 7000 Prisoners of War were walked into Mekelle town in a disciplined parade.
  • The Government of Tigray has announced seven (7) conditions on 4 July to a negotiated ceasefire.
  1. Invading forces from Amhara and Eritrea must withdraw from Tigray and return to their pre-war territories; members of the Eritrean security, intelligence and defense establishment in Ethiopia must leave the country immediately and without any delay; any contacts, be it domestic or foreign, that bear directly on the national interest of Tigray must go through the legitimate and legal Government of Tigray; the resolution of issues related to Tigray and Eritrea must be predicated on dialogue with the Government of Tigray alone.
  2. There should be an agreement on the need for the United Nations to establish an independent investigative body, and once that body is established, on the need to put in place proper mechanisms for bringing perpetrators of crimes to the International Criminal Court.
  3. Allow the unimpeded delivery of humanitarian aid to the people of Tigray from all directions using all necessary modes of transport; facilitate the return of all Tigrayans, internally displaced and refugees, to their homes as well as ensure the return of civilians brought in by the invading forces to their previous homes; create propitious conditions for the repatriation of governmental and private properties looted from Tigray without any form of delay; create conditions in which full compensation for the damage inflicted on Tigray, such as the destruction of basic infrastructures, and service providing social-economic institutions is secured without any delay.
  4. The people of Tigray must have full access to all forms of services, such as electricity, telecom, banking, air travel, education, healthcare, transportation, commerce etc. without interruption and any form of hindrance; allow the operation of international flights directly from airports in Tigray without any preconditions.
  5. Respect the constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and accept the fact that the constitution is the sole basis for any negotiations going forward; enable the democratically elected Government of Tigray, with all its powers, and constitutional responsibilities, to resume its regular work; release the budget transfer that the people of Tigray were constitutionally and legally entitled to receive in the 2020-2 budget year; no members of the defense forces, federal police, security and intelligence institutions will be allowed to enter and operate in Tigray.
  6. Given the expiration of the mandate of the federal government as of September 25, 2013 (E.C), subsequent decisions by the federal parliament, federal courts, any proclamations, directives, decisions, issued by the entitles at all levels of executive branch, and judicial and administrative decisions aimed at the State of Tigray and Tigrayans lack legal force, and as such, should be considered  null and void; relatedly, Tigrayan politicians and members of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF), who are languishing in jail solely on account of their identity must be released from their illegal detention without delay; current and former Tigrayan members of the ENDF in detention must be released, with all the benefits they are legally entitled to fully restored. Tigrayans illegally expelled from the Addis Ababa City Administration as well as from all federal institutions on account of their identity must get all the benefits that they are legally entitled to. All other Ethiopians who are in jail solely on account of their identity must also be released without delay.
  7. The Government of Tigray considers the creation of an independent international entity entrusted with the task of following up on the implementation of these preconditions for a ceasefire be a non-negotiable element of the ceasefire itself.
  • Fierce fighting between ENDF allied forces and Tigray defense forces has been reported in the Western zone of Tigray.
  • Video footage broadcasted by Asena TV shows that ENDF soldiers destroyed the Mekelle Martyrs Memorial Monument and Museum when they fled the regional capital.
  • A press release issued by Mahbere Kidus Yared Zeorthodox Tewahdo Church reads that “Genocide has been declared on the people of Tigray”. The press release states that Ethiopia is using starvation as a weapon of war.
  • The Tewahdo church press release states that hunger is worse than the battlefield and lists that:
  • In the recent Togoga massacre 64 persons were killed and more than 200 injured after an air bombing;
    • More than 80% of the medical centers have been looted and damaged;
    • More than 193 young men and women were killed and thrown of cliffs in Mahbere Dego;
    • More than 1200 monasteries and churches are ruined, religious treasures looted;
    • More than 160 priest and worshippers were massacred;
    • 28 priests were killed in Guetelo Medhanialem Church while in service and Christians were massacred in the monastery of Debre Abay;
    • Nuns and children were raped and alien elements were inserted in their genital organs;
    • More than 90% of agricultural products are destroyed;
    • Civil residence houses are destroyed and pillaged and the Tekeze bridge is destroyed to stop humanitarian aid coming to help the people of Tigray;
    • More than 850 people were killed in Axum town;
    • More than 900 monks and nuns have been expelled and killed;
    • Villages of Tembien, Bora, Selowa, Chellena, Samre and Gijjet were victims of non stop bombings and raids.
  • The press release states that the genocide is ongoing due to the siege on Tigray preventing assistance.

Development in Ethiopia (per 04 July)

  • There are multiple credible reports of increased intimidation, harassment and mass arrests of ethnic Tigrayans in various cities of Ethiopia including Addis Ababa.
  • Reported that hundreds of ethnic Tigrayans who were arrested in Addis Ababa have been transported to Awash Arba military camp in the Afar region.
  • The arrest and profiling of ethnic Tigrayans has been intensified in Gambella, Benishangul-Gumuz, Amhara, Wolayta, Arba-Minch and Dire-Dawa, among others.
  • There are also reports that the federal Ethiopian government is planning to present ethnic Tigrayans political prisoners as Prisoners of War.
  • The closure of ethnic Tigrayans owned hotels, restaurants, cafes, shops, boutiques and other small businesses has also been intensified in Addis Ababa.

Situation in the Horn region (per 04 July)

  • Sudan has called for a ceasefire and dialogue in neighbouring Ethiopia, warning of regional instability, as fighting intensified in the war-hit Tigray region across the border.
  • “The Sudanese government is deeply concerned about the developments in Ethiopia, which may have a negative impact on regional stability,” it said in a statement.
  • Sudan also urged “all the parties in neighbouring Ethiopia to stop the fighting and come to the negotiating table.”
  • El-Sisi said Egypt’s approach in the negotiations with Ethiopia on GERD over the past ten years has been based on reaching a legally binding agreement in accordance with international norms.
  • “Egypt has never threatened any country directly or indirectly throughout history despite its great military power,” he added.

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