Situation report: Unrest in Alamata between Tigray and Amhara forces; €2 billion pledged for Sudan; Sudan Foreign Minister and 2 governors dismissed

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)

  • Tigray forces entered Raya Alamata district, which has been a disputed area between Tigray and Amhara regional administrations. Exchanges of fire were reported since the weekend between Amhara and Tigray forces which prompted between 3,000 and 5,000 people to flee their homes. 
  • According to the  Tadesse Werede, the Tigray Interim Regional Administration (IRA) Deputy, the IRA and federal government reached an agreement “on the need to dismantle administrations established by Amahara forces in Western Tigray, Tselemti and some parts of Southern Tigray under occupation”. 
  • Tigray and Amhara administrations accused each other of failing to comply with the Pretoria Cessation of Hostilities Agreement.
  • The draft Transitional Justice Policy was unanimously approved by the Council of Ministers on Wednesday after discussions and enhancements to the draft were finalised. 
  • Nearly $630 million has been pledged for Ethiopia in support of the humanitarian response in the country hit by droughts, floods, and conflicts. 

Situation in Sudan (per 11 April)

  • Countries pledged over €2 billion in aid for Sudan at the International Humanitarian Conference for Sudan and Neighbouring Countries in Paris on Monday. The World Bank, European Commission, Germany, US, UK and France were among the largest contributors. 
  • The pledged amount constitutes just over 50% of the €3.9 billion UN appeal comprising two components, namely humanitarian aid and aid for Sudanese refugees in neighbouring countries. 
  • The warring parties Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) were not present at the Paris conference. The Sudanese Foreign Ministry previously condemned the organisation of the conference, stating that it was organised without any consultation with the Sudanese authorities. 
  • Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali Al-Sadiq as well as two governors of Gedaref and Kassala states were unexpectedly dismissed from their positions by the Council of Ministers on Wednesday. The current undersecretary to the Foreign Minister Hussein Awad replaced Al-Sadiq in the ministerial position. 
  • Mohamed Ahmed Hassan, a retired Major General, was appointed as the new governor of Gedaref and Major General  Al-Sadiq Mohamed was named the governor of Kassala. The previous governors were reportedly dismissed over growing disagreements with the local administration and local tribes. 
  • The drop in production of sorghum, millet and wheat exacerbates food insecurity and hunger in Sudan, states the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The production in 2023 was 40% below the average compared to the previous 5 years. 
  • The FAO urged for timely intervention for the upcoming cropping season as only 10% of the FAO’s Emergency Plan for 2024 is funded to date. 
  • 30 Sudanese villages have been set on fire in March which is the highest monthly number since the start of the conflict in Sudan, according to satellite images analysed by the Centre for Information Resilience.
  • Saudi Arabia continues with preparations for resumption of the Jeddah peace talks that are expected to commence “by the end of the first week of May”, said Tom Perriello, US Special Envoy for Sudan.

International Situation (per 11 April)

  • The court case against human trafficker ‘Kidane’ (Kidane Zekarias Habtemariam) was put on hold by the presiding judge in the court in Zwolle, the Netherlands. The judge pointed out the court’s need for proof that Kidane has received the summons in order to be able to defend himself in a criminal case. 
  • Due to the lack of communication from authorities in the United Arab Emirates, where Kidane is currently detained, it is unclear whether Kidane has been informed about summons and the start of the court case in the Netherlands. 
  • The Dutch public prosecutor’s office reported on progress in the ongoing Walid case, stating that so far 25 witnesses, victims of Walid, gave their testimonies and more are scheduled for the coming month.  The next hearing in the Walid case was scheduled for 4 July 2024 at 14.30CEST. 
  • The Political and Security Committee of the Council of the EU approved an additional €40 million in support of the Somali National Army  and €70 million in support of African Union Transition Mission in Somalia as a part of the broader cooperation of the EU assisting security and peace in Somalia. 
  • Josep Borrell, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs, nominated 44 new delegates representing the EU worldwide. Sofie From-Emmesberger was nominated as the EU Ambassador to Ethiopia while Karin Bäverbrant Stanghed as the Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to the African Union. 

Regional Situation (per 11 April)

  • Djibouti President Ismail Omar Guelleh and Kenyan President William Ruto reportedly met in Nairobi in a private meeting to discuss de-escalation of relations between Somalia and Ethiopia over the controversion Memorandum of Understanding between Somaliland and Ethiopia. 
  • Kenya may need to revisit its 25-year power purchase agreement with Ethiopia due to the worsening electricity crisis in Ethiopia, which poses a potential risk to Kenya’s power supply. 
  • The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority has raised concerns about the situation in Addis Ababa, indicating that if Ethiopia cannot meet its contractual obligations, renegotiation may be necessary.

Refugee and Migration Situation (per 11 April)

  • A group of 23 NGOs called on Maltese authorities to stop pushing back migrants and refugees crossing the Mediterranean sea back to Libya. 
  • The appeal comes after 83 persons were reportedly seized by the Libyan Coast Guard within Malta’s Search and Rescue zone and returned back to Libya last week. 
  • The UK is reportedly considering four countries, namely Armenia, Ivory Coast, Costa Rica and Botswana, for establishing an asylum pact deal similar to the one with Rwanda. The bill that outsources the asylum procedure to Rwanda is still waiting for the final approval before it can become law. 
  • The EU Pact on Migration and Asylum has been rejected by Slovakia which joined Poland and Hungary in opposing the new EU legislation. Disagreeing with the relocation system, the Slovak PM, Robert Fico, called the Migration Pact an act of “a dictate” rather than solidarity. 

Links of interest

Tigray, Federal Government Recognize the Necessity to Dismantle Amhara Administration in Occupied Territories
News: Amhara regional gov’t calls on TPLF to ‘vacate occupied areas swiftly’
News: Council of Ministers unanimously approves draft Transitional Justice Policy
Geneva conference pledges $630 million in life-saving help for Ethiopia
Macron says world donors pledge more than €2 billion in aid for war-stricken Sudan
International humanitarian conference for Sudan and neighbouring countries
Paris conference boosts Sudan aid funding to 50%
Increasing number of villages torched across Sudan shows conflict is intensifying – report
Sudan: Cereal production down by over 40 percent, likely exacerbating hunger
Sudan relieves foreign minister and two governors
Exclusive: US Special Envoy for Sudan says ‘priority is to end the war’
EU support to Somalia: Council approves further support under the European Peace Facility to the Somali National Army
EEAS: High Representative Josep Borrell nominated new Heads of EU Delegations for the upcoming diplomatic rotation
‘Top secret’ talks underway to mediate Ethiopia, Somalia on MoU saga
Ethiopia’s power deficit push Kenya to mull deal
NGO Press Statement: Malta must stop illegally pushing back people to Libya!
UK: Government considers ‘Rwanda-like’ deals with four other countries
Slovakia joins group of EU states refusing to implement new migration pact

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.