Situation in Tigray (per 26 August)

  • The federal government of Ethiopia bombarded Mekelle on 26 August at 12pm, according to several sources. The airstrikes reportedly hit a kindergarten, killing and injuring civilians including children. 17 people died as of yet, and more casualties are said to be arriving.
  • Earlier on 26 August, the federal government issued a statement strongly advising the people of Tigray to keep their distance from areas where TDF military equipment is located. It accuses the TDF of continuing their attack while the federal government says it has left an “open door” for peace talks.
  • The statement says the federal government remains open to peace negotiations, but will take military action against the TDF. The federal government spokesperson did not respond to Reuters inquiries regarding the bombing.
  • Residents in the Amhara’s Kobo area told Reuters that fighting has intensified for a second day on the Southern border of the Tigray region. A farmer told reuters that “[they] are frequently hearing the sound of heavy weapons, more than the previous days,”  
  • He added that: “more troops including those from the Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF), local militias and Fanos (volunteer militia) are heading to the front.”
  • Leul Mesfin, Medical Director of Dessie Hospital, also told Reuters that as of Thursday the facility had not received any casualties from the fighting.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) Chief, Tedros Adhanom said that he has relatives in Tigray he cannot communicate with or send money to amid a 22-month blockade by government forces.
  • He also said the humanitarian crisis in Tigray was exceptionally bad because the region is cut off from the world by government forces of Ethiopia and Eritrean forces. “Can you tell me any place in the same situation in the world?” Tedros said.
  • The Tigray External Affairs Office issued a statement on 25 August saying they “are profoundly disturbed by WFP Executive Director David Beasley’s unhelpful public outburst” and denounce the false allegations.
  • They urge the WFP to honour the agreements made and to publicly set the record straight. The receipt of the loan has been made public on social media.
  • Aklilu Hailemichael, representative of the Tigray regional government to Europe, says that Abiy Ahmed used the peace negotiations to gain time to launch a new offensive against Tigray.
  • He accuses Abiy of not keeping his promises, including to lift the siege of Tigray. He finds that this proves that Abiy Ahmed “never had genuine interest in peace”.

Situation in Ethiopia (per 26 August)

  • Odaa Tarbii, Spokesperson of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) says that the international community’s framing of Ethiopia’s offensive on Tigray as some “restart” of war after a period of ceasefire is wrong; he says the war has been there in the form of siege and acts of violence.
  • Odaa believes that the international community has been an ineffective arbitrator for peace, as it continues to view the conflict through the narrative provided by the Ethiopian government.

Regional Situation (per 26 August)

  • Given the massive raids in Eritrea for conscripts and the build up of Eritrean forces in Irob (a Tigray woreda) and along the border, the expectation is that Eritrean Defence Forces (EDF) will join the war that has restarted in Tigray.
  • Raids and mobilisation round – ups continue in Segeneyti  and other parts of Eritrea.
  • It is stated that the restart of fighting in Tigray is spearheaded by Amhara and Afar militia which are both trained and supported by Eritrean Defence Forces (EDF).
  • UN OCHA published its Regional Humanitarian Overview and Call to Action on 24 August, recalling that “an unprecedented emergency is ravaging drought-affected communities”. It states that at least 36,1 million people have now been affected by the lack of rainy seasons and drought that began in October 2020.
  • Sudan’s acting foreign minister, Ali Sadiq, welcomed the first US ambassador on 25 August after more than 25 years of troubled relations between the two countries.

International Situation (per 26 August)

  • Acting Chargé D’affaires of the US Embassy in Eritrea met with the UN Resident Coordinator, regarding the UN partnership with Eritrea.


Links of interest

Fed. government calls on Tigray residents to avoid areas of military equipment, training facilities

Air strike hits capital of Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region – local media, aid sources

Kindeya Gebrehiwot, PhD, Prof

Residents said fighting flares for second day in northern Ethiopia: Reuters

WHO chief, Tedros Adhanom, laments inability to help ‘starving’ relatives in Tigray

Twitter: Statement by the Tigray External Affairs Office

Tigray forces deny stealing WFP fuel in Ethiopia: BBC

Why the peace process between Ethiopian government and Tigray government failed and fighting has

Twitter: Kjetil Tronvoll

Twitter: Odaa Tarbii, Spokesperson of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF)

Twitter: UN Eritrea

Twitter: Video of ENDF military reinforcement in Kobo town

Statement from Relief Coordinator, Martin Griffiths, on Ethiopia

Horn of Africa Drought: Regional Humanitarian Overview & Call to Action | Revised 24 August 2022

Sudan’s FM says happy with arrival of new U.S. ambassador

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