Situation report: Nearly 100 people killed in Al-Jazira; Genocide committed against Tigrayans, says report; Continuous human rights abuses in Eritrea

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Situation in Ethiopia (per 6 June)

  • There are reasonable grounds to believe that Ethiopian National Defence Forces, Amhara Special Forces, and Eritrean Defence Forces committed genocide against Tigrayans during the two-year war, states a  report by New Lines Institute.
  • The report documents that in many instances, crimes were committed with the purpose to inflict serious bodily or mental harm. Particular crimes also show direct intent to destroy Tigrayans, cause starvation of the civilian population, as well as destruction of the healthcare system. 
  • International humanitarian law and international human rights law has been violated by all warring parties, which may constitute war crimes or crimes against humanity. These include among others persecution, rape and conflict-related sexual violance, forcible displacement, imprisonment and killing.
  • The Ethiopian House of Peoples’ Representatives passed legislation which allows the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) to be re-registered as an official political party with the National Election Board of Ethiopia. The law was also previously endorsed by the Ethiopian Council of Ministers. 
  • Approval of the new proclamation was welcomed by Getachew Reda, the president of the Tigray Interim Regional Administration, stating that it is “one step in the right direction in consolidating peace”. 
  • The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) called upon the authorities to release nineteen prisoners that have been detained under the state of emergency decree in the Amhara region. 
  • As the state of emergency in the Amhara region expired this week, the EHRC urged that regular law enforcement procedures should be restored.
  • Former chairman of the Ethiopian Citizens for Social Justice party (Ezema), Yeshiwas Assefa, has been arrested and detained without a court order for suspicion of “inciting violence”. According to his wife, Mulu Berhan, their house was searched by police without finding any evidence. 
  • The Ethiopian Minister of Transport and Logistics, Alemu Sime, confirmed to the House of People’s Representatives that Ethiopia seeks to gain access to the Red Sea through implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with Somaliland. 
  • The MoU “will make Ethiopia’s quest to get access to sea outlets a reality”, enhancing logistics and new cooperation, said Sime in his address. 

Situation in Eritrea (per 6 June)

  • Eritrea continues to violate human rights standards and this remains a matter of serious concern, according to a new annual report by the UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Eritrea, Mohamed Abdelsalam Babiker. 
  • Violations are carried out in the context of the indefinite national service, the repression of freedom of religion, absence of rule of law and administration of justice, and violations of civil and political rights, including arbitrary detention and enforced disappearances. 
  • The report further expresses concerns over involvement of Eritrean forces in the human rights violations in the Tigray region, as well as evolving patterns of transnational repression in the Eritrean diaspora. The report will be presented during the 56th session of the UN Human Rights Council. 
  • The Eritrean Embassy to the EU and Benelux countries criticised the EU for continuation of the imposed sanctions against Eritrea that have been implemented since March 2021. The Eritrean Embassy strongly rejected “unwarranted adversarial accusations of the EU”. 

Situation in Sudan (per 6 June)

  • Almost 100 people have been killed in an attack on the village of Wad Al-Noora, Al-Jazira state, by Rapid Support Forces (RSF) on Wednesday. The victims were buried in a mass grave on the same day. 
  • The Resistance Committees of Madani confirmed the attack, stating that the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) did not intervene and remained stationary when the RSF launched the attack. 
  • 46 rape cases were recorded between 30 April and 3 May, out of which 28 were committed against children in North Darfur, Northern State, White Nile and Khartoum, states a new report by the campaign Together Against Rape and Sexual Violence. 
  • “The increase in rape cases indicates the intensification of the conflict and the use of sexual violence against Sudanese people in conflict areas”, said campaign member Abu Al-Hassan.   

International Situation (per 6 June)

  • Somalia withdrew its decision to expel the Ethiopian troops from Somalia at the end of African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) mandate which expires in December 2024. 
  • Instead, Somalia requested Tanzania to mediate in a constructive dialogue with Ethiopia, discussing a phase III of ATMIS and potential involvement of Ethiopian troops. 
  • Malik Agar, Sudan’s Vice President of the Sovereignty Council, travelled to Russia to attend the 27th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum between 5-8 June. Agar is scheduled to meet with Russian President, Vladimir Putin, to deliver a message from Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, head of the SAF. 

Refugee and Migration Situation (per 6 June)

  • Asylum seekers that have been detained by the UK’s Home Office and assigned for deportation to Rwanda are taking legal action against the UK government. Despite the announcement that no flights will take place before the UK election,  the Home Office reportedly insisted on their detention. 
  • Solicitor Lewis Kett said detention is unjustifiable “nine to 11 weeks before any potential flights, and even less so after the prime minister announced no flights would leave before the election”.
  • Sudanese organisations called on Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed to ensure protection of about 6,000 Sudanese refugees stranded in forests in Ethiopia after they were forced to flee the Kumer refugee camp due to violence and insecurity earlier in May. 
  • The security situation of refugees and migrants along the migration routes from Africa towards Europe has become more dire in recent years, according to a new report by the UNHCR.  
  • “Significant gaps continue in shelter, legal assistance, prevention, and response to GBV and trafficking in persons, as well as protection and assistance measures for children”, states the new report. Conflicts, such as the one in Sudan, further strain resources allocated to protection of refugees. 
  • European Parliament elections are taking place between 6-9 June with migration, asylum policy and border controls being one of the pivotal topics for campaigns across the whole political spectrum.  

Links of interest
Genocide in Tigray: Serious breaches of international law in the Tigray conflict, Ethiopia, and paths to accountability
Ethiopia passes bill to allow Tigray region’s banned organization to register as political party
News: Human Rights Commission urges release of detainees following end of State of Emergency in Amhara region
News: Former Ezema leader Yeshiwas Assefa detained without court appearance for over 48 hours
X: Addis Standard
Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea, Mohamed Abdelsalam Babiker
Press Release: Embassy of the State of Eritrea Brussels
RSF commits massacre in Al-Jazirah village, leaving nearly 100 dead
Together Against Rape Campaign documents surge in child rape cases in Sudan conflict areas
Somalia reverses decision to expel Ethiopian troops from the country
Sudan delegation attends St. Petersburg Economic Forum
Rishi Sunak’s Rwanda admission sparks legal action from detained asylum seekers
Calls to rescue 6,000 Sudanese refugees in the Ethiopian forests
Mapping for Protection Services Report, a routes-based approach to protection services along mixed movement routes

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