Europe External Programme with Africa’s Situation Report as of December 19, 2020 includes:
- Special forces of Afar and Amahara have reportedly, for the last three days, been fighting each in Tigray
- Reportedly 37 civilians were killed by Eritrean troops in Mariam Dengelat.
- In Tigray, looting continues to be reported, including 500 dairy cows and hundreds of calves stolen by Amharic forces.
Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for UN Secretary-General, said:
The IOM has delivered aid to Tigray border areas and the WFP has sent some food into camps in Tigray. We continue to call for immediate and unfettered access to all areas where people have been affected by the fighting. Our humanitarian colleagues tell us that, although electricity and telecommunications are intermittently working in Tigray’s capital, Mekelle, people in many other parts of the region are still lacking access to food, water, cash, power and telecommunications.
EU increases humanitarian support by €23.7 million in Ethiopia, Sudan and Kenya
To address the urgent humanitarian crisis linked to the conflict in Tigray, the EU has today increased humanitarian funding for the area by €23.7 million. Tigray is on the edge of a humanitarian catastrophe.
Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič said the following.
European solidarity with those in need in Ethiopia continues, despite the pandemic and any political considerations in Ethiopia. We will not let the people of East Africa down in these difficult times. During my recent visit to the region, I urged the Ethiopian government to grant unconditional, unimpeded and immediate access to all people in need in Tigray. Unfortunately, this has not happened yet. The EU continues to call on all involved to abide by International Humanitarian Law. In spite of this, the EU is stepping up its humanitarian support for the region, including for Sudan, which is suffering the brunt of the refugee wave from Tigray.
Humanitarian partners working in Ethiopia will receive an extra €18.8 million and €2 million will go to Sudan to help with the influx of refugees from Tigray. In addition, €2.9 million will be mobilised to address the fast deteriorating food security situation of refugees in Kenya.
Tensions on the border of Ethiopia and Sudan are escalating following troop pile up by Sudanese Rapid Support Forces along the borderlines of Ethiopia and Sudan. It was reported this week that a militia from the Ethiopian side attacked Sudanese forces patrolling the border area killing people, apart from damaging property.
Immediately after the reports of the incident, Egypt’s Foreign Affairs Ministry denounced the attacks and issued a statement offering its solidarity with the Sudanese forces.
“The Sudanese armed forces continued to advance on the front lines inside Al-Fashaqa to recapture the stolen lands and take up positions on the international lines,” Sudan’s SUNA news agency said.
The Sudanese army said:
We will not give up one inch of our country’s territory. We are not warmongers. Ethiopia is a neighbouring country, and we maintain good relations with it, but we will not give up one inch of our country’s territory. The international borders with the neighbouring country, Ethiopia, are obvious and unquestionable. Therefore, we stand on the last point of our internationally-recognised borders. We will not tolerate imposing our control over the entire territory of our country.
Usually, agricultural and harvest preparation periods in Sudan in the border areas with Ethiopia witness infiltration and attacks by armed gangs that are out of the control of the Addis Ababa authorities, to “seize resources”, according to Sudanese reports.
Stories that came to my attention lately:
- Journalist Dawit Kebede detained without charge since November 30 (December 18, 2020)
- For Ethiopia’s Diaspora, Seeking News Amid Communication Blackout is a Challenge (December 18, 2020)
- Psychological support for MSF staff on Tigray border (December 18, 2020)
- A gulf of difference: How the UAE and Egypt’s close coordination fell apart and what’s next (December 17, 2020)
- Inside a military base in Ethiopia’s Tigray: soldiers decry betrayal by former comrades (December 17, 2020)
- How War in Ethiopia Impacts Red Sea and Horn of Africa Power Politics: The Battle in Tigray and Beyond (December 17, 2020)