Situation report: Oromo opposition official killed in Oromia; EU Parliament passes new migration pact; 10 million children live in warzone in Sudan

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 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. To receive the situation report in your e-mail, click here. You can unsubscribe at any moment through the link at the bottom of each e-mail.

Situation in Ethiopia (per 11 April)

  • A senior opposition official from the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) Bate Urgessa was found dead in his home town Meki in the Oromia region on Wednesday. His body was found lying next to a public road. 
  • According to Bate’s family, he was taken from his hotel room and shot dead on Tuesday night.  The killing was strongly condemned by the OLF party which accused government security forces of “preventing the recovery of his body, and later inhibiting the conduct of further autopsy”.
  • The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) called for a full investigation into the killing to be carried out by the Ethiopian federal government as well as the Oromia regional government. 
  • Four senior officers were removed by the Gambella regional government for failing to fulfil their responsibilities in relation to the recent security crisis in the Gambella region. 
  • A Tigray opposition party, Salsay Weyane Tigray, called for a halt to provocative narratives inciting  hostility towards Tigrayans that have been published in speeches in state media. The party urges the Federal government to intervene as this rhetoric can jeopardise the peace process. 

Situation in Sudan (per 11 April)

  • Over 10 million children resided in areas with active fighting and within five kilometres of the frontlines in Sudan over the past year, reports Save the Children.  
  • Children have been exposed to fierce fighting, bombings, mortar and missile attacks, as well as direct attacks on civilians, states Save the Children.
  • Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, head of the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF), stated that groups which do not support SAF in the battle against Rapid Support Forces (RSF) will not be eligible for leadership positions in the future. 
  • Gedaref city was hit by a drone attack on Tuesday morning, hitting a mosque at the General Intelligence Service headquarters injuring a security officer and a civilian. The unmanned aerial vehicles were reportedly Chinese-made, according to Sudan Tribune.  

Regional Situation (per 11 April)

  • The US embassy in Nairobi issued a warning for multiple possible attacks on the Somali capital Mogadishu. The Aden Adde International Airport has been mentioned as one of the possible targets. The embassy did not specify where the threat was coming from. 
  • Three candidates from East African countries submitted their application to run for the position of Chair of the African Union Commission in January 2025. The candidates include Djibouti’s Foreign Minister Mahmoud Ali Youssouf, Kenya’s former PM Raila Odinga and former Somali minister Fawzia Adam.
  • South Sudanese president Salva Kiir met with the newly appointed IGAD’s Special Envoy to Sudan, Lawrence Korbandy, discussing strategies for promoting dialogue among the warring parties in Sudan.

International Situation (per 11 April)

  • Representatives and Special Envoys on Sudan from France, Norway, the UK, US and the EU urged Sudan’s warring parties to cease fighting and respect international human rights and humanitarian law. 
  • In a joint statement which was issued after the meeting of delegates in Norway on Monday, representatives welcomed the proposal to resume Jeddah peace negotiations. 
  • The US aims to push for additional funding of a hundred million USD in support of humanitarian needs relating to the Sudan crisis, stated Tom Perriello, US Special Envoy for Sudan. 
  • Iranian-made unmanned aerial vehicles have been used in military operations by SAF over the past months, according to sources known to Reuters. While the exact procurement procedures are not known, Reuters sources claim that drones did not come directly from Iran.

Refugee and Migration Situation (per 11 April)

  • The European Parliament passed the New Pact on Migration and Asylum in a narrow vote on Wednesday. The new legislation was backed by 322 votes in favour 266 against and 31 abstentions.
  • NGOs and experts have been criticising the new migration pact for months stating that the stricter rules will place refugees, migrants and asylum seekers at greater risk of human rights violations. 
  • “EU institutions are now shamefully co-signing an agreement that they know will lead to greater human suffering. […] Europe has missed a vital opportunity to build a migration and asylum system that places human rights at the centre”, said Eve Geddie from Amnesty International. 
  • Humanitarian workers and defenders across Europe are increasingly targeted with criminal charges for “facilitating irregular migration”, according to PICUM. Over 100 charges were recorded in 2023 with the majority of cases being registered in southern Europe, namely in Italy and Greece. 
  • Thousands of refugees continue to flee Sudan every day as the conflict in the country approaches its one-year anniversary on 15 April. 
  • At least 1.8 million people sought refuge in the neighbouring countries since the start of the war marking it “the largest and most challenging humanitarian and displacement crises in the world”, states the UNHCR. 
  • The UK’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Rwandan President Paul Kagame met on Tuesday discussing the plans to arrange the first transports of asylum seekers from the UK to Rwanda in spring. 
  • The proposed legislation which aims to outsource the UK asylum process to Rwanda is still undergoing negotiations and procedural steps in the UK’s Houses of Parliament. 
  • Asylum seekers face widespread delays and barriers in processing their asylum applications in Italy, according to the International Rescue Committee (IRC). 
  • “Today many people in Italy are stuck in an asylum vacuum, without proper documentation, work or accommodation – caught in a state of limbo that can last for up to eight months”, states IRC. 
  • Hotspots in Lampedusa, Italy, have been overcrowded due to large numbers of arrivals of refugees and migrants. In the night from 4 to 5 April, 333 people were rescued from six boats off of Lampedusa. 

Links of interest

Bate Urgessa: Ethiopian opposition OLF figure shot dead and dumped by road
X: Oromo Liberation Army OLF-OLA 
Gambella Regional Gov’t Press Secretariat Office 
Ethiopia: Tigrayan opposition party calls for an end to inflammatory rhetoric, citing concerns over  peace agreement
Sudan’s Year Of War: One In Two Children In The Line Of Fire
Burhan excludes unsupportive political forces from future Sudanese government
Drone strikes hit Eastern Sudan’s Gedaref
Suicide drones were used to attack Gedaref: security sources
US warns of possible attacks on ‘multiple locations’ in Mogadishu
More candidates join AU Commission chairpersons race
South Sudan’s Kiir meets IGAD envoy on Sudan conflict
Joint statement by Special Envoys and representatives on Sudan
US to make additional funding push in response to Sudan conflict
Sudan civil war: are Iranian drones helping the army gain ground?
MEPs approve the new Migration and Asylum Pact
EU: Vote to adopt the Migration and Asylum Pact ‘a missed opportunity’
Criminal charges against migrant rights defenders rising, NGO finds
Thousands still fleeing Sudan daily, after one year of war
UK: Government continues to insist flights to Rwanda to take off ‘in spring’
Please wait: Barriers to access the procedure for international protection in Italy
Over 300 migrants arrive on Italy’s Lampedusa in one night

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. 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 any additional information and corrections.