Situation report: Eritrean diaspora protest in Netherlands; RSF attacks on El Fasher; Documented attacks on healthcare by Ethiopian forces in Amhara

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Situation in Sudan (per 4 July)

  • The Rapid Support Forces (RSF) launched an attack on a livestock market in El Fasher, North Darfur state, on Wednesday. During the attack, at least 12 people were killed and 20 injured, said the Coordination of Resistance Committees in El Fasher. 
  • Health facilities are continuously targeted in El Fasher with two hospitals shelled by RSF on Tuesday.  Targeting of the health facilities has been confirmed by the governor of Darfur, Minni Minawi.
  • A private hospital in the Grand Market area of El Fahser was reportedly destroyed.  The buildings of Jabal Marra medical complex were hit while the medical equipment remained unharmed. 
  • El Tijaniya mosque and its school in El Fasher were also hit by the RSF attack on Monday killing nine persons, including an infant, and injuring 11 others.

Situation in Ethiopia (per 4 July)

  • Ethiopian security forces carried out widespread attacks on medical workers, healthcare facilities, and medical transports in the Amhara region since August 2023, when the fighting between federal forces and Fano broke out, says a new report by the Human Rights Watch (HRW). 
  • HRW documented the destruction of the healthcare system in 13 towns in Amhara and found that federal forces violated international humanitarian laws, possibly amounting to war crimes. 
  • A well-known general of the Ethiopian National Defence Forces, Tefere Mamo, has reportedly joined the Fano militia in Amhara.  
  • Fighting has been reported in the Amhara region in North Showa and Gojjam areas. 
  • Fano has reportedly carried out coordinated ambush operations inflicting damage to Ethiopian forces and infrastructure.
  • The second group of about 2,200 internally displaced persons (IDPs) returned to Tselemti district, North Western Zone of Tigray region, on Wednesday. 
  • The transport of the second group was delayed by three days due to a reported disagreement between  elders from Amhara and Tigrayan officials. 80,000 IDPs are expected to be returned to the North Western Zone of Tigray. 
  • The Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, has made changes to his cabinet of ministers removing Kejela Merdassa from the post of the Minister for Culture and Sports and replacing him with Shewit Shanka. Kejela, a member of Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), served in the ministerial post for 3 years. 
  • Minister of Trade and Regional Integration, Gebremeskel Chala, was replaced by Kassahun Goffee. Reasons for removal of both ministers remain unknown. 
  • Regional states have been urged by the Ethiopian federal government to take bigger responsibilities in addressing humanitarian needs, covering at least 70% of necessary funding. 

International Situation (per 4 July) 

  • The Eritrean diaspora held a peaceful demonstration today in Zwolle, the Netherlands, calling for an end of transnational repression by the Eritrean regime, and justice for victims of human trafficking.
  • The crowd of about 500 demonstrators further demanded an investigation into the criminal activity of the Eritrean regime and bringing the supporters of the Eritrean regime suspected of crimes to court. 
  • The demonstration has been organised in relation to the court hearing of  Eritrean Tewolde Goitom (Walid), an alleged human trafficker. During the hearing, the prosecutor confirmed that so far 24 witnesses have shared their testimonies while 9 others still need to be heard. 
  • The judge said the content hearings in the Walid case will be planned for March 2025. Prior to that the judge scheduled another pro-forma hearing on 18 September 2024 at 13.30 CEST in Zwolle. 
  • The hearing was attended by 100 people from the Eritrean community, the maximum capacity allowed in the courtroom. 
  • Anti-government rallies have continued across several major cities in Kenya this week. Police forces used tear gas against protestors and arrested more than 270 people accused of criminal rampage.  
  • Implementation of the 2018 peace agreement ending conflict in South Sudan has been facing challenges due to the economic crisis exacerbated by the conflict in neighbouring Sudan, stated Tut Gatluak Manime, South Sudan’s presidential adviser on national security affairs.
  • Mediation talks between Ethiopia and Somalia over the Memorandum of Understanding with Somaliland concluded without tangible outcomes on Monday in Ankara, Turkey. 
  • Turkey as a mediator secured the second round of talks on 2 September. 
  • Egypt will host a mediation discussion advocating for an end of Sudanese conflict in Cairo on 6 and 7 July. Sudanese political forces, civil society representatives and religious leaders are invited to attend. 

Refugee and Migration Situation (per 4 July)

  • The Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) decided to resume processing asylum applications for Sudanese citizens, which have been halted since last year and will expire on 8 July 2024. 
  • Pending asylum applications that have been submitted by Sudanese nationals over the past year will be processed according to the general asylum procedure.  
  • Non-European Union citizen deportations have been on rise in the first quarter of 2024 reaching 29.5%, according to the Eurostat. Deportees are returned to the third countries as a part of the EU’s strategy to curb irregular migration. 
  • Volker Türk, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, urged political leaders to combat hate speech and dehumanisation of migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. 
  • Türk warned of rising hatred and discrimination narratives during political campaigns globally as several countries undergo elections this year. 
  • The UNHCR called for urgent support and safeguarding the growing number of Sudanese refugees.  “It is one of the most neglected crises globally and for us, it is the most pressing displacement crisis in the world right now”, said Ewan Watson, UNHCR head of global communications. 

Links of interest

12 killed, 20 injured in shelling targeting market in western Sudan
RSF bombs two more hospitals in El Fasher
Nine dead in RSF shelling of mosque in North Darfur capital
“If the Soldier Dies, It’s on You” Attacks on Medical Care in Ethiopia’s Amhara Conflict
News: Nearly 2,200 second batch IDPs return to Tselemti after three-day impasse 
Ethiopian PM Abiy removes two of his cabinet ministers 
Federal gov’t urges regional states to take more responsibility for addressing humanitarian needs
Gevlucht voor het regime, maar toch zijn ze nog bang: Eritreeërs protesteren in Zwolle
Demonstratie van Eritreeërs in Zwolle verloopt rustig
Slachtoffers mensensmokkel demonstreren bij rechtbank
Sudan war affects implementation of 2018 peace deal: official
Cairo to host ‘unifying’ Sudan peace talks this week
Turkish foreign minister says 2nd meeting between foreign ministers of Ethiopia, Somalia set for Sept. 2
More than 270 people arrested in antigovernment rallies in Kenya
IND beslist weer over asielaanvragen uit Sudan
EU sees rise in deportation rates for non-EU migrants
Refugee flight from Sudan surging as war rages, funds dry up
UN rights chief appeals to voters not to scapegoat migrants and refugees as elections loom
IOM Ethiopia: Mission Annual Report 2023

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.