“Ethiopia’s prime minister promised a swift, surgical military campaign in the restive province of Tigray. But doctors in the regional capital reported civilian deaths, looting and a looming crisis.”

Source: New York Times

From Shelled Ethiopian City, Doctors Tally Deaths and Plead for Help

Ethiopia’s prime minister promised a swift, surgical military campaign in the restive province of Tigray. But doctors in the regional capital reported civilian deaths, looting and a looming crisis.

Credit…Eduardo Soteras/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

By Simon Marks and 

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — After Ethiopian military forces captured the capital of the rebellious Tigray region last weekend, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed boasted that his forces had scored the victory without killing a single civilian.

But doctors at the city’s main hospital reached on Thursday painted a very different picture — indiscriminate artillery barrages on civilian areas, looting by armed men and the deaths of at least 27 civilians and injuries to more than 100.

Their testimony offered a rare glimpse of the increasingly dire conditions in a city that has been largely cut off from the outside world since Mr. Abiy launched a military operation against Tigray on Nov. 4.

On Saturday, Mr. Abiy — the winner of last year’s Nobel Peace Prize — declared victory after his forces seized the regional capital, Mekelle, a highland city of 500,000 people that until recently was the seat of the region’s ruling Tigray People’s Liberation Front.

Two days later, on Monday, Mr. Abiy proclaimed to Ethiopia’s Parliament that federal forces had not killed a single civilian during a month of fighting in Tigray.

But phone and internet connections to Tigray have been largely cut off, making it hard to verify competing claims by the belligerents. And it quickly became apparent that Mr. Abiy’s assertion of victory was premature.

Tigrayan forces said they had retreated from Mekelle to avoid destroying the city and would continue to fight from the surrounding rural areas — a first step of what could eventually become a drawn-out guerrilla campaign.
Credit…Eduardo Soteras/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

In separate interviews, two doctors at the region’s largest hospital, the Ayder Referral Hospital, insisted that Mr. Abiy’s gains had been far from bloodless.

A rain of shellfire on Saturday morning, in the hours before federal troops captured Mekelle, landed on civilian as well as military targets, the doctors said. Ambulances rushed through the streets carrying the dead and wounded. By evening, at least 27 civilians had been killed, including a 4-year-old, and over 100 wounded, they said.

The doctors, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid reprisals from the government, sent text messages and spoke using a rare connection to the internet in the city.

They provided copies of identity cards and other documents to prove their employment at the hospital, and denied any affiliation with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front.

One provided photos of wounded patients at the hospital who, he said, had been hit in the bombardment — infants with shrapnel-pocked bodies, a man with a bloodied head, a woman lying prone with her leg in plaster.

Now a tense calm reigns in the city, the doctors said. The electricity had been cut off, swaddling the city in darkness at night. Armed men had looted stores, forcing many to close.

At the Ayder Hospital, dire shortages of oxygen and basic medical supplies have made it impossible to perform lifesaving surgery on the wounded. The doctors pleaded for international help to relieve what they called a critical situation.

On Sunday, Red Cross officials visiting the hospital reported it was “running dangerously low” on gloves, antibiotics, painkillers — and body bags.

A spokeswoman for Mr. Abiy did not respond to queries about the disparity between his claims of no civilian casualties and the accounts from the hospital.

Mr. Abiy’s decision to launch military operations in Tigray, a northern region of at least six million people, was the dramatic culmination of a simmering political row with Tigray’s ruling party. The T.P.L.F. dominated Ethiopia for 27 years until Mr. Abiy came to power in 2018, and its leaders openly defied his authority in September by holding regional elections, which had been postponed in the rest of Ethiopia because of the pandemic.

"Tigrayans who have fled the conflict in Ethiopia seeking shelter at a camp in Qadarif in eastern Sudan." data-recalc-dims="1" style="box-sizing: inherit; border: 0px; max-width: 100%; height: auto;">
Credit…Nariman El-Mofty/Associated Press

The communication blackout has made it hard to judge the scale of the fighting. But by most estimates by Western diplomats and aid workers, thousands of civilians and fighters have been killed, stoking fears that Africa’s second-most populous country is plunging headlong into a ruinous civil war.

The situation in Mekelle is just one element in a ballooning humanitarian crisis.

At least 45,000 Ethiopians have fled Tigray into eastern Sudan, where many live in squalid camps with limited food and water. Aid groups warn that another 100,000 refugees may follow in the next six months if fighting continues.

Even before hostilities erupted last month, 600,000 people in Tigray depended on food aid to survive. Aid workers say that supplies are running out for almost 100,000 refugees from Eritrea who live in camps in Tigray, having fled repression in their own country.

On Wednesday the United Nations said it had secured an agreement with the Ethiopian authorities to provide “unimpeded, sustained and secure access” for the delivery of emergency relief to government-controlled parts of Tigray.

Ethiopia’s state telecommunication company said Wednesday it had partly restored communications in several military-controlled towns in western Tigray. But the fragile security situation is likely to frustrate aid efforts.

On Thursday a United Nations spokesman in Nairobi expressed “extreme concern” about a report that four Ethiopians working for two international aid agencies had been killed in Tigray in unclear circumstances.

In Mekelle, the two doctors said the situation had become tense in recent days.

Bands of young men in civilian clothes roamed the streets. Many roads were blocked with large stones. There was a heavy presence of federal security forces.

Simon Marks reported from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and Declan Walsh from Nairobi, Kenya.


Eritrea’s Role in Ethiopia’s Conflict and the Fate of Eritrean Refugees in Ethiopia

BY: Mesfin Hagos, former Minister of Defense of Eritrea

In an address to his country’s parliament on November 30, 2020, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister confirmed Eritrean support to his ongoing war against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the regional government of the northernly regional state of Tigray. Dr. Abiy told parliamentarians that Ethiopian soldiers who survived TPLF attack on the night of November 3 were ordered to withdraw into Eritrea where they were provided shelter and the space and provisions to recuperate. He flew there with three of his generals to reorganize the troops for a counterattack on Tigray – from Eritrea.

What Prime Minister Abiy did not tell his audience was the fact that, according to sources in the Eritrean capital, Asmara, in the run up to the current conflict, a large number of Ethiopian elite units had slowly trickled into Eritrea as part of a security pact between Abiy and Eritrean president Isaias Afwerki. Hidden from public view at an ad-hoc base in Gherghera, in the outskirts of Asmara, these units were expected to be the hammer and the Northern Command the anvil to strike out of existence the TPLF. TPLF preempted this scheme in what it called “anticipatory defense”, which forced both Abiy and Isaias to improvise leading to the eruption of conflict over longer time period and vast space.

Dr. Abiy did not disclose to the Ethiopian public and international community that even more federal troops were airlifted into Eritrea following the outbreak of conflict on November 4. In the 48 hours before TPLF’s bombing of Asmara on November 14, local sources counted close to 30 military airplanes flying in thousands of soldiers from Ethiopia. Subsequent flights transported more soldiers into the Eritrean seaports of Massawa and Asseb.

The prime minister also hid from the world the Eritrean military’s direct involvement in combat along the entire border that Eritrea shares with Tigray regional state as well as inside Tigray. The following information is pieced together from three different sources: first, reliable sources inside the Eritrean ministry of defense; second, Eritrean opposition intelligence sources in Sudan and Ethiopia; and finally, anecdotal pieces communicated from friends and relatives, including some academic researchers.

When the reorganized and reinforced Ethiopian troops launched a series of offensives into Tigray from Eritrea along four frontlines, Eritrean support units provided intelligence and logistics, their heavy weapons gave cover to advancing federal troops, and eventually took active part in combat. Reliable sources have confirmed injury and death of a large number of Eritrean soldiers, including senior officers, in fighting deep inside Ethiopia.

Through Zalambessa alone, the Eritrean president sent in the 42nd and 49th mechanized divisions and the 11th, 17th, 19th and 27th infantry divisions. On reaching Edaga-Hamus, south of Adigrat and north of Mekelle, these divisions were reinforced with addition five Eritrean divisions, including the 2nd brigade of the 525th commando division. He also unleashed the 26th, 28th, and 53rd infantry and 46th and 48th mechanized divisions on the Adwa front along with only one division of the Ethiopian federal army. In addition, the TPLF claims that Eritrean technical and combat units also took active part in the Alamata front, southeast of Mekelle. The same TPLF sources also claim that they have Eritrean prisoners of war although they are yet to present them to the public – live or in recordings.

Although Eritrean army divisions have been shrinking in size in the past twenty years and their individual capacities shriveled, put together they are a formidable force. Their combined technical knowhow (intelligence and weaponry) as well as tactics and strategy expertise and experience can deliver blistering firepower against any adversary.

Either approving of or oblivious to President Isaias’ role in the planning, initiation and execution of the ongoing Ethiopian civil war, the international community commended his uncharacteristic silence in the fact of repeated TPLF rocket attacks on Eritrean towns. Abiy Ahmed’s complete media and communication blackout ensured that Eritrea’ intervention remained above scrutiny and censure.

Exacting Vengeance and Becoming Regional Strongman

Beside the Eritrean president’s delusions of grandeur and parallel desire to appear as regional strongman in the Horn of Africa and beyond, one has to look at the past two decades to understand his vindictiveness. During the 1998-2000 conflict against TPLF-led Ethiopia, Isaias Afwerki refused to listen to our colleagues’ warnings against going to war; and, when he did, he refused to listen to common sense and practical advice from former army and intelligence chiefs, each of whom had had far more combat leadership experience than himself – although he had overall command as the leader of the movement and government. As a result, he badly mismanaged the war and lost terribly, with grave consequences to Eritrea and Eritreans. The stubborn that he is, he dug in and stayed the course of regional confrontation for the subsequent twenty years that cost him dearly.

President Isaias ruthlessly held on to power and kept Eritrea on war footing, frustrating any prospect of recovery or normalcy. With every year that went by, his significance diminished and his legacy tarnished. He blamed the TPLF for all this and did everything in his power to make them pay for it. He saw his own vindication in TPLF’s demise and every case of TPLF domestic repression and external belligerence was an opportunity for him until Dr. Abiy came to power and outdid Isaias in that task. The unlikely bond between the dashing new prime minister and the aging president is a marriage of convenience that centered around the singular goal of liquidating the TPLF. I will spare the details of what followed and led to November 4, but the writing was on the wall: a conflict war inevitable.

Caught in a Jam – Desperation of Eritrean refugees in Tigray

In the past two decades of President Isaias’s unbridled repression, some half million Eritrean youth, elderly and unaccompanied minors fled their country. In the context of the conflict between the two countries, Ethiopia readily accepted those fleeing Eritrea and, with the help of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), housed them in some six refugee camps in Tigray and Afar regional states. As a sign of what was to come, in April 2020 Abiy Ahmed’s government changed its policy toward Eritrean refugees on the behest of the Eritrean president: newly arrived Eritreans were no longer granted automatic protection as refugees, although the Tigray regional government continued to accept them and let them stay unmolested.

When the current conflict broke out, there were close to 100,000 officially registered refugees in the four camps in Tigray alone and many thousands more in Tigrayan towns. While the refugees in the Afar region of Ethiopia have all along been in precarious conditions, those in Tigray were suddenly caught in the crossfire when the conflict broke out. It was first rumored that several refugees were either killed or wounded in the fighting close to their camps around the town of Shire. The fact that UNHCR personnel were ordered to leave Tigray and employees of Ethiopian federal government’s Agency for Refugee & Returnee Affairs (ARRA) simply did not show up left the camps unattended to. The total communications blackout made it impossible to find out what exactly was going on in the camps. But as the war dragged on, we are able to piece together the grave danger that the refugees are facing.

To begin with, all the camps have now run out of the measly supplies of basic necessities that they were left with. Source have also reported that the Eritrean military entered some of those camps and marched an unknown number of refugees out of camp at gun point. The Shimelba refugee camp is even reported to be under the control of the Eritrean military that is preparing to send a large number of them back to Eritrea. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, said on November 29 that he was very concerned about the fate of the Eritrean refugees in the war zone amid reports that some have been abducted by the Asmara government, a regime that has absolutely no regard for international norms or opinion.

A way forward

The Ethiopian government is duty bound under international law to protect refugees. It is the duty of the international community to ensure that the Ethiopian government, as the host state, abides by its international obligations in this regard. A clear, timely and unambiguous message must be conveyed to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed about the dire consequences of not living up to its legal responsibility towards the refugees and asylum seekers. This cannot be achieved in isolation of the quest for a peaceful resolution to the conflict. And peaceful resolution of the Ethiopian conflict is unlikely to happen so long as President Isaias Afwerki is determined to wreck vengeance on the TPLF, and as long as Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed entreats him to do so and actively entertains his regional ambitions. The international community has to tell President Isaias in no uncertain terms that continued intervention in internal Ethiopian affairs bears grave, direct consequences.

نتنياهو وزوجته يستقبلان عددا من يهود الفلاشا

يهود الفلاشا انتظروا طويلا حتى يصلوا إلى إسرائيل، بعضهم ظل ينتظر لسنوات عديدة

تجري عمليات إجلاء جوي لمئات اليهود الإثيوبيين إلى إسرائيل، ولا يزال الآلاف ينتظرون دورهم في قائمة طويلة.

ويأتي ذلك بعد أسابيع من إعلان إسرائيل عن خطط للقيام بذلك، بعد فشل في الوفاء بتعهدات تتعلق باستيعاب هذه الجالية.

وتربط المهاجرين الجُدد صلات قربى بيهود إثيوبيين أُحضروا إلى إسرائيل قبل عقود ضمن سلسلة من عمليات سريّة.

لكن تساؤلات حول أهلية هؤلاء للحصول على حق المواطنَة في إسرائيل ومن ثمّ الاستقرار تلقي بظلالها على العملية.

وحظيت القضية بزخم كبير في الأسابيع الأخيرة مع احتدام القتال بين الحكومة الإثيوبية وقوات محلية في إقليم تيغراي شمالي البلاد، ومخاوف من وصول أعمال العنف إلى مدينة غوندار التي يقطنها معظم أبناء المجتمع اليهودي في مخيمات انتظار مؤقتة.


لرئيسية ← تقارير ← المبادرة السودانية للسلام في القرن الأفريقي- - إعلان تأسيسي ودعوة لوقف الحرب في إثيوبيا -

 2020-12-02  عدوليس

تحكيما للضمير الإنساني، وانطلاقا من علاقات الإخاء والمصير المشترك، وتأسيسا على الدور الجمعي في بناء وإرساء السلام، وتحسبا من منزلق المآلات المقلقة للحرب التي تدور في دولة إثيوبيا الجارة والتي تنذر باندلاع مواجهات مسلحة أوسع من شأنها تقويض السلم والأمن الإقليمي فضلا عن هدم أسس التعايش السلمي الذي أصبح أمرا واقعا الآن، لوقف الحرب والحد من آثارها المدمرة والأعباء المتوقعة نتيجة مباشرة لها : اتفقنا نحن الموقعين / ات على هذا الإعلان - ممثلين لأنفسنا والكيانات التي ننتمي إليها - حول ما يمكن عمله تجاه وقف الحرب وحماية الحق في الأمن والسلام وغوث اللاجئين وعون المتضررين . إحساس عميق بالقلق تَمَلّكنا ونحن نتابع التطورات المريعة لوقائع الحرب الإثيوبية والتصعيد المستمر ، وتفاقم الآثار الناتجة عنها إنسانيا وأمنيا وسياسيا، ولقناعتنا بأن المستقبل المعافى يُبنى على السلم المجتمعي والتعايش السلمي بين شعوب وقوميات القرن الأفريقي والبحر الأحمر، ويُمتن بالتكامل الاقتصادي والسياسي والأمني الاستراتيجي، ويعزز قبول وتشجيع التنوع الثقافي والاحتفاء بالإرث الثر والمحمول التاريخي الثقافي لكل دول المنطقة، مما يمكن من تحقيق راهن مشترك وصنع مستقبل مشترك في سبيل التقدم و النهوض السياسي و الاقتصادي و الاجتماعي .

Adoulis 5

انطلاقاً من رغبة السودان شعباً وحكومةً لترسيخ دعائم السلام في المنطقة نثمن المجهودات الرسمية للحكومة السودانية، ونحثها لبذل المزيد من الجهود لتحقيق السلام و للاضطلاع بدور إيجابي و بنّاء ، سريع وفعال لنزع فتيل الأزمة، و احتواء آثارها، بالتواصل مع الأطراف المعنية في إثيوبيا ودول الإيقاد والإتحاد الإفريقي و المجتمع الدولي .
ودفعا لأن تتزامن وتتكامل الجهود الرسمية مع مبادرات شعبية، على نحو ما بدأ سلفا في الولايات السودانية على الحدود الشرقية، توافقنا على تبني مبادرة شعبية واسعة تهدف لإسهام إيجابي و بناء يرفد مساعي وقف الحرب و احتواء آثارها بكل معين .
نرحب بإخواننا و أخواتنا اللاجئين و اللاجئات، داعين لأن تتوفر لهم الظروف الملائمة لحفظ أمنهم و صون كرامتهم الإنسانية إلى حين العودة إلى ديارهم سالمين بعد وقف الحرب، وإستتباب الأمن والسلام الدائمين .
و ندعو الأشقاء في إثيوبيا إلى الاستهداء بتاريخهم الناصع و الممتد من الحضارات والمُلهِم في دحر كل محاولات الاستعمار ولتبني الحكمة والاحتكام لصوت العقل ووقف حالة العنف والانتهاكات ضد المدنيين/المدنيات ووقف النزوح والتشرد والتأسيس لمستقبل يتيح تحقيق العدالة والحوار الجاد بين الشعوب الإثيوبية وشعوب الإقليم بما يُرسي لمصالحة وطنية دائمة ويعزز الاستقرار والنماء.
نناشد منظمات العمل الإنساني الوطنية و الإقليمية الدولية لتكثيف جهودها الإنسانية لإغاثة و إيواء نازحي/نازحات الحرب و لاجئيها و لاجئاتها.
ختاما نؤكّد أنّ محنة الجارة إثيوبيا هي محنة شعوب إقليم القرن الأفريقي و القارة الإفريقية جميعها، مما يستدعي إطلاق النداء بقوة للمطالبة أكثر من أي وقت مضى، بحسم خيارات شعوب الإقليم و القارة للمستقبل، بالمضي في درب التنمية والوحدة و التكامل الإقليمي، وبما يحفظ السلام ويحقق العدالة ويتيح ديمقراطية مشاركة مجتمعاتنا في التنمية والسلطة.
التوقيعات :
- تنسيقية لجان أحياء بحري
- المجموعة السودانية للديمقراطية أولا
- حركة التغيير الآن
- منظمة السودان للتنمية الاجتماعية (سودو)
- تجمع الأجسام المطلبية (تام)
- صحيفة مداميك الإلكترونية
- اللجنة العليا لملتقى جامعة الخرطوم للبناء الوطني والانتقال الديمقراطي
- الجمعية السودانية لتنمية الشباب
- الجمعية السودانية للعلوم السياسية
- تجمع اختصاصي علم الاجتماع والأنثروبولوجيا والخدمة الاجتماعية

- جمعية البيئيين
- ممثل ناظر الحلنقة
- ملتقى أصدقاء حوض النيل
- تجمع القوى المدنية
- كونفدرالية منظمات المجتمع المدني
- صحيفة إيلاف
- هيئة شئون الأنصار
- مركز الخاتم عدلان للاستنارة
- جمعية عصماء للتنمية
- جمعية الصداقة السودانية الإثيوبية
- منظمة نبض للسلام والتنمية
- تحالف قوى جبال النوبه المدنية
- مركز عون للمحاماة
- مؤتمر خريجي جامعة الخرطوم - Democracy Hub
- مبادرة المجلس التشريعي الثوري منظمة _تعافى للطفل والاسره
_منظمه كنداكة العالميه لحقوق النساء /كندا
- Sudan film factory
- اتحاد الكتاب السودانيين
- شبكة صيحة
- مجموعة الحقوق والمواطنة
-المجموعات النسويه السياسيه والمدنيه (منسم)
- المرصد السوداني لحقوق الانسان
- مجموعة حراك المجتمع المدني السوداني
- مركز جسر للتنمية
- القوى المدنية ولاية القضارف
- تجمع كنداكات جنوب الخرطوم
- الاتحاد النسائي السوداني
- مركز الشرق للعون القانوني/كسلا
- الحركة الشعبية لتحرير السودان شمال
- حزب الأمة القومي
- التجمع الاتحادي
- حزب الأمة القومي
- حركة بلدنا
. الجمعية الشعبية السودانية الإثيوبية .ولاية القضارف
_ منتدى شروق الثقافي.
_مبادرة القضارف للخلاص.
_تحالف قوى الحريه و التغيير بالقضارف.
_ لجان المقاومه بالقضارف.
_مركز دراسات السلام بجامعة القضارف.
_الكنيسه القبطيه الارثوديكسه الأب ميخائيل برهان.
- اتحاد الشباب السوداني
- منظمة كسلا لبناء السلام والتنمية
- تجمع طالبات القضارف
- الجمعية السودانية للفولكلور
- تجمع البيئيين السودانيين اللجنة التسييرية
- ضباط الشرطة المفصولين تعسفيا
- منظمة القضارف للتعايش السلمي
- الورشة الجوالة المسرحية
- رابطة سفراء السودان
- منبر المغردين السودانيين
- الحراك الاتحادي الموحد
- مبادرة لا لقهر النساء
- مركز محمود محمد طه الثقافي
- الحزب الجمهوري
- مركز الخرطوم للاطلاع والفنون
- تجمع الصيادلة المهنيين
- التحالف النسوي السوداني.

* الصورة المرفقة من معسكر أم راكوبة للاجئين: للمصوير حسين صالح أري

Source: Deutsche Welle

The Kremlin plans to set up a naval base on the Red Sea in Sudan. The
prestige project would expand Russia’s presence in Africa. That could
have global geopolitical implications.

Roman Goncharenko, Deutsche Welle

Vladimir Putin wants to see Russia establish a naval base abroad for
the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union. In
mid-November, the president ordered the Defense Ministry to sign an
accord with Sudan. Along with the still-active Cold War-era Tartus
facility in Syria, this would not only be the second Russian naval
base in the Middle East and North Africa — a region that has become
increasingly important for Moscow — but worldwide, apart from a fleet
on the annexed Crimean Peninsula, which Kremlin officials do not
currently consider extraterritorial.

A draft agreement published by Russia only provides for a logistics
and repair base on the Red Sea for the time being; however, the navy
would be allowed to station up to 300 military staff there — enough to
supply four warships, regular- and nuclear-powered. Presumably the
focus is on nuclear-powered submarines rather than ships as Russia’s
fleet only has one operational nuclear-powered battle cruiser, the
Pyotr Veliki (Russian for Peter the Great). A second battle cruiser is
currently being modernized.

Admiral Viktor Kravchenko, the former chief of staff for the navy,
told the Interfax news agency that the fight against pirates around
the Horn of Africa justified Russia’s establishing a base for
logistics and repair. “It is a tense region,” Kravchenko said. “A
Russian naval presence there is necessary,” he added, hinting that the
facility could one day be developed into a fully fledged base.

Cultivating the image of a world power also plays a role, observers
say. “Russia defines itself as a player right on the spot in this
important region of the world,” Rolf Welberts, a former German
ambassador to Sudan who has also served as head of the NATO
Information Office in Moscow, told DW.

The United States, France and China have naval bases in Djibouti on
the Red Sea. According to the media, Russia has also showed an

Apart from prestige, Russia could conceivably also be after the
extraction of raw materials in Sudan and the power to “cut off trade
routes in case of conflict with the West,” Alexander Golz, a Russian
military journalist, told DW.

The Soviet Union had outposts in Ethiopia and Somalia to counter the
fact that the United States had a naval base on the Indian Ocean.
Today, it seems the Red Sea is important as a region and point of
access to the African continent for Russia.

“The Red Sea has become a geopolitical hot spot,” said Annette Weber
of the Berlin-based German Institute for International and Security
Affairs. The war in Yemen, in which several countries in the region —
including Sudan — are involved, was a starting point, she said. “It’s
a fantastic deal for Russia” that has strengthened its influence,
Weber said. The expert described Sudan as “extremely important” in
terms of trade, smuggling and escape routes.

Until a few years ago, Russia and Sudan did not have very close ties.
That changed in 2017, when Russia’s president welcomed his Sudanese
counterpart at the time, Omar al-Bashir, in Sochi.

Russia’s government was sending the message that it was ready to work
with Sudan when other countries would not, said Kholood Khair, a
managing partner at Insight Strategy Partners, a policy think tank
based in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum. The country is on the US state
sponsors of terrorism list, and al-Bashir was indicted by the
International Criminal Court for war crimes in Darfur. Sudan is
currently trying to get itself removed from the list to end years of

At the 2017 meeting with Putin, al-Bashir ranted against the United
States, described Sudan as “Russia’s key to Africa” and introduced the
issue of a naval base — supposedly as a protective measure against the
US. Reports followed about Russian companies mining gold in Sudan and
a dubious private military named the Wagner Group that was said to
have advised al-Bashir’s security forces during an uprising in late
2018. Russian officials confirmed a military presence in Sudan, but
denied involvement in breaking up protests.

A common interest

Al-Bashir was toppled in April 2019, and Sudan has since been ruled by
a joint body of civilians and military staff, the Sovereignty Council.
The military is the stronger partner, Khair said. Russia kept its
contacts in Khartoum thanks to Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, more commonly
known in Sudan as Hemeti. The general is the deputy chairman of the
Sovereignty Council and, Khair said, “the most influential man in the

Khair said Sudan’s gold could be one reason for Russia’s heavy
investment into ties with al-Bashir and now Hemeti. He added that
there have been reports of Russian soldiers and private security
companies guarding the gold mines in the north, to which Hemeti is
also connected. Gold is one of the key sources of income for Sudan,
which has been devastated by sanctions, corruption and inflation.

It is unclear whether Russia sees Sudan as a springboard in the
region. However, military advisers and mercenaries have been seen in
at least two neighboring countries: Libya and the Central African
Republic. That appears to be part of Russia’s strategy of establishing
new ties with Soviet-era allies. The Sovereignty Council sent
emissaries to the first ever Russia-Africa summit in Sochi in October


Through piecing together information from a number of reliable sources the following picture has emerged. It concentrates on the fighting and the fate of nearly 100,000 Eritrean refugees who had fled to Tigray and are being cared for by the UN refugee agency, the UNHCR.

It should be read in the context of the background article, which was published yesterday.

  1. Eritrean military abuses.
  1. There have been several reports that Eritrean officers have been ordered to shoot their own wounded troops rather than move them back to Eritrea and treat them in hospitals. This is apparently being done to prevent information about the Eritrean role in the war reaching the wider public. This information comes from different sources.
  1. Refugees from Hitsats camp have been forcibly removed from Tigray and have been seen in the Eritrean town of Adi Quala, where they have been jailed. Many of the senior officers have been removed from the rest of the group. No-one knows whether they are dead or alive.
  1. When Shire was first occupied by Ethiopian and Eritrean forces, the Eritrean military was asking Eritrean refugees living there whether they had received training at Sawa. The implication was that those who had been trained might be immediately placed in uniform and armed, to fight at the front.
  1. The Eritrean military is engaged in the looting of Tigrayan assets. This includes cleaning banks of money, and is taking truckloads of goods to Eritrea daily. Yesterday there was a large battle in Faitsi — a village between Zalambesa and Adigrat, on the northern border of Tigray, in the east. The purpose was apparently to clear the main north-south road from Eritrea to Mekelle. This has an obvious military objective, but also facilitates the plundering of Tigrayan goods.
  1. The Tigrayan bakeries in Zalembessa are being ordered to bake bread for Eritrean troops.
  1. Eritrean refugee camps.
  1. As a consequence of abuses such as items A.4 and A.5 above, the Tigrayans may be even angrier at Eritreans than they are at the Ethiopian Federal Forces. In the past Eritrean refugees in UNHCR refugee camps have relied on the goodwill and support of their Tigrayan neighbours. This may have evaporated, leaving the Eritrean refugees who have not been forcibly returned to Eritrea, and Eritreans living in the wider community, at increased risk of retribution from Tigrayans.
  1. Mai Aini may be the camp that is currently greatest risk.  Example: Tigrayan forces aligned with the TPLF  are reported to have confiscated two private truckloads of produce that were destined for the camp at Mai Aini.  Example:A Tigrayan guard shot and killed a young Eritrean man in Mai Aini yesterday (circumstances are unknown).
  1. Military activity is concentrated just outside of Mai Aini. Tigrayan soldiers are trying to reinforce their positions, while Federal forces are converging on them. This could lead to fierce fighting, endangering camp residents. The Mai Aini refugees had been able to buy some supplies from stores in the nearby town of Mai Tsebri, but now they are cut off from that.
  1. Fearing Tigrayan vengeance, many or most of the able-bodied refugees are escaping from at least some of the camps on foot, leaving behind mothers with young children, the elderly, and the disabled. Those on the run are going to Gondar, or seeking security in other villages or towns.
  1. Looting is occurring in some of the camps, including for food. It’s unclear who is doing the looting.
  1. Independent agencies that have worked with the refugees now warn that the status of the camps in Tigray may have to be re-assessed. Given the danger of being engulfed by the fighting and the rising hostility towards Eritreans (possibly including the Eritrean refugees) it’s possibly that the UN should evacuate the refugees from one or more of the camps, rather than trying to protect them there.

ርእሰ-ዓንቀጽ ሰዲህኤ

ቅድሚ ክልተ ዓመትን ፈረቓን፡ ኣብ መንጎ ኢሳያስ ኣፈወርቅን ዶ/ር ኣብይ ኣሕመድን ዝምድና ምስተፈጥረ እቲ ተርኽቦ ኣዝዩ ኣዘራራቢ ነይሩ። ኣዘራራቢ ዝኾነሉ ቀንዲ ምኽንያት ከኣ ብትሕዝቶኡ ዘይግሉጽ ብኣካይዳኡ ከኣ ዘይትካላዊ ተበግሶ ስለ ዝነበረ እዩ። ሓደ ካብ ትሕዝቶ ናይቲ ስምምዕ “ሓቢርካ ንህዝባዊ ወያነ ሓርነት ትግራይ (ህወሓት) ምጥፋእ” ክኸውን ከም ዝኽእል ግና ብሃተፍተፍ ኢሳያስ ካብ መጀመርያኡ ዝተጋህደ እዩ ነይሩ።

እዚ ነቲ በዓል ቤት ክኸውን ዝግበኦ ዝነበረን ብስሙ ብዙሕ ሸፈጥ ዝተዘመረሉን ህዝብታት ኤርትራን ኢትዮጵያን ዘይግሉጽ ስምምዕ፡ ንገለ ናይ ግዳም ሓይልታት ግና ስዉር ኣይነበረን። ብመሰረቱ እውን ቀንዲ መንፈስ ናይቲ ስምምዕ ኣብ ረብሓ ክልቲኡ ህዝብታት ኤርትራን ኢትዮጵያን ዘየድሃበ፡ ብናይ ግዳም ድፍኢት ዝተደፍአን  ብሃብታማት ዞባ ምብራቕ ቀይሕ ባሕሪ ዝተቓነየን እዩ፡ ዝብል ርኢቶ እውን ብብዙሓት ተዓዘብቲ ይንጸባረቕ ነይሩ እዩ። ናይቲ ውሽጡ ዘይፍለጥ ስምምዕ ኣብ ሱዕድዓረብያን ሕቡራት ዓረብ ኤምረትን ኬድካ ደጋጊምካ ምፍራሙን ናይ ኢሳያስ ኣፈወርቅን ኣብይ ኣሕመድን፡ ብመራሕቲ ናይዘን ክልተ ሃገራት ዓረብ ወርቂ መዳልታትን ማዕተብን ምስላምን ከኣ ናይዚ መርኣያ እዩ። ናይ ከም በዓል ፕረሲደት ትራምፕ  ዝኣመሰሉ ናይ ርሑቕ ተዓዘብቲ “ኣጆኻትኩም” በሃልነት እውን ብመንጽርዚ ዝረአ እዩ።

ነቲ ሓቀኛ ትሕዝቶኡ ዘይተገልጸን ትካላውን  ሕገመንግስታውን መልክዕ ዘይሓዘን ስምምዕ ንምምልኻዕ  ብረብሓን ሓድነትን ሃገራት ዞባ ምብራቕ ኣፍሪቃ ንምጉልባቡ እውን ተፈቲኑ እዩ። ወዮ ንሓያሎ ዓመታት ኣብ ዘይፍሉጥ ቦታታት  ተዓጽዩን ተነጺሉን ዝጸንሐ ኢሳያስ ኣፈወርቂ ድሕሪዚ ንዛረበሉ ዘለና ስንኩፍ ስምምዕ ነጢሩ፡ ኣወሃሃዲ መራሕቲ ዞባና ክኸውን፡ ንመራሕቲ ኢትዮጵያን ሶማልያን ኣኸቲሉ፡ ናብ ኢትዮጵያ፡ ሶማልያ፡ ደቡብ ሱዳን፡ ኬንያ፡ ሱዳን፡ ሶማሊላንድን ጅቡትን ኣብ ገሊኡ ብኣካል ኣብ ገሊኡ ከኣ ብልኡኻቱ  ክጻፋዕ ፈቲኑ። እንተኾነ በቶም ብዛዕባዚ ተንኮለኛ ምህዞኡ፡ ቅድሚኡ ዝተረድእዎ መራሕቲ ሃገራት “ሓቀኛ እንተኮይካ ኣብ ከም ኢጋድ ዝኣመሰላ ዞባዊ ትካላት ኣበርክትን ንጠፍን፡ ካብዚ ሓሊፉ ኣፍራሲ ኢድካን እግርኻን ኣክበልና” ምስ ተባህለ ጸግዑ ሒዙ፡ ናብታ ካብን ናብን ኣዲስ ኣበባ ኮለሉ ተመሊሱ።

ድሕሪ ክልተ ዓመትን ፈረቓን ወያ ካብ ቅድም ኩልና ዝፈለጥናያን ናይቲ ዘይህዝባዊ ስምምዕ ማእከል ምንባራ ዝተረዳእናያን ከነእውየላ ዝጸናሕና ብግብሪ ኣትዮም። ኢሳያስን ኣብይን ብሓባር ኣንጻር ህዝባዊ ወያነ ሓርነት ትግራይ ዝመርሖ ክልላዊ መንግስቲ ተዋጊኦም። ኢሳያስ ከምቲ ዝፈከሮ ሕነ ንክፈዲ ኣብቲ ኣብ መንጎ መንግስቲ ኢትዮጵያን ክልላዊ መንግስቲ ትግራይን ዝተኻየደ፡ ካብ ቅድም እውን ኤርትራዊ ጉዳይ ራሕሪሑ፡ ክሰርሓሉ ዝጸንሐ፡ ንህዝቢ ኤርትራ ዘይውክል ውግእ ኣትዩ ጽምኡ ኣርውዩ። ናይ ኢሳያስ ወረቓቕቲ እንዳቐያየርካ ብመስዋእትን መሰልን ህዝቢ ኤርትራ ምጥላዕን ክቡር ዋጋ ክኸፍል ምግዳድን፡ ሎሚ እውን ተደጊሙ ዘይኮነ ተደጋጊሙ። ብሰንክዚ ኢሳያስ ዘምጸኦ መዘዝ፡ ኤርትራውያን ከም ዝሞቱ፡ ንብረቶም ከም ዝዓነወ፡ ኣብ ርእሲቲ ዘለዎ ካልእ ጸገማት ህዝብና ብራዕዲ ከም ዝተዋሕጠ፡ ንርእሱ እንዳጠመየ ሰራዊት ኢትዮጵያ ክቕልብ ከም ዝተገደደ፡ ኮታ ኤርትራ በቶም ጌና ብጐቦ ዓይኖም ዝርእይዋ ዘለዉ  ወተሃደራት ኢትዮጵያ ኣዕለቕሊቓ ትርገጽ ከም ዘላ ከምቲ “ኣደስ ትሓብእ እሞ ሓበላ ዓይንስ ኣይትሓብእን” ዝበሃል፡ ግሁድ ጉዳይ ኮይኑ ኣሎ።

እቲ ዳርጋ ንሓደ ወርሒ ኣብ ትግራይ ዝተኻየደ ውግእ፡ ክሳብ ሕጂ ኣዝዩ ከቢድ ንዋታውን ሰብኣውን ክሳራታት ኣውሪዱ፡ ኣብ ኢትዮጵያ “ሕጂ ውግእ ተወዲኡ” ኣብ ትግራይ ድማ “ሕጂባ ቃልሲ ተጀሚሩ” ኣብ ዝበሃለሉ ደረጃ ተበጺሑ ኣሎ። ዝተፈላለዩ ወገናት እውን ኩነኔኦም ነቲ ውግእ የስምዑ ኣለዉ። ሰዲህኤ እውን ነቲ ብሰንኪ ሽርከነት ኢሳያስ ኣፈወርቅን ኣብይ ኣሕመድን፡ ኣብቲ ውግእ ዝተኻየደሉ ትግራይ ዝወረደ ማህሰይቲ ኮኒኑ፡ “ኣብ ውሽጢ ኢትዮጵያ ተኸሲቱ ዘሎ ውግእ መበገሲኡ ቅዋማውን ፖለቲካውን ፍልልይ ስለዝኾነ፡ ፖለቲካዊ ፍታሕ ክግበረሉ ንጽውዕ።” ዝበሎ ብመንጽርዚ እዩ። ከምቲ ኣቐዲምና ዝሰጋእናዮ ኣብ ልዕሊ ኤርትራውያን ብሰንክዚ ውግእ  ጉድኣት ከም ዘውረደ፡ ኣብ ርእስቲ ኣቐዲሙ ዝተዘርዘረ፡ ነቲ ኣብ ህዝብን ሰብኣዊ ትካላትን ዓለም ሻቕሎት ፈጢሩ ዘሎ፡ ኩነታት ናይቶም ኣብ ትግራይ ኣብ መደበራት ስደተኛን ካብ መደበራት ወጻእን ዝጸንሑ ብኣማኢት ኣሸሓት ዝግመቱ ኤርትራውያን መንእሰያት ምዝካር ጥራይ እኹል እዩ። ወግእ ከምቲ ዝኾኖ እምበር ከምቲ ሃንደስቱ ዝምነይዎ ስለ ዘይከውን ከኣ፡ ብቐጻሊ ሳዕቤን እውን ህዝቢ ኤርትራ ከም ህዝቢ ኢትዮጵያ ዝጽበዮ ዋጋ ከም ዝህሉ ኣብ ግምት ዝኣቱ እዩ።

እቲ ኣቐዲምና ዝፈለጥናዮን ዝገመትናዮን፡ ንትግራይ ናይ ምንብርካኽ ናይ ኢሳያስን ናይ ኣብይን ኣጀንዳ ኣብዚ ንዕዘቦ ዘለና ኩነታት ካብ በጸሔ፡ ካብቲ ተሓቢኡ ዝጸንሐ ኣጀንዳታት ናይዞም ክልተ መራሕቲ ካልእ መስርዑን ግዜኡን ሓልዩ ክገሃድ ግድን ክኸውን እዩ። ካልእ ናይ ሓባር ኣጀንዳ  ዘይነበሮም እንተኾይኑ ከኣ ዋኒኖም ወዲኦም ነናብ ዝነበርዎ ክምለሱ እዮም። እዚ ዘይብሩህ መጻኢ እዩ ከኣ “ኢሳያሰ-ኣብይ፡ ሕጂኸ ናበይ?” ዘብል። ኢሳይስ መንገዲ ዲክታተርነት ዝመረጸን በቲ ዝመርጾ መንገዲ ዝቕጽል ዘሎን እዩ። ዶ/ር ኣብይ ኣሕመድ ከኣ ባዕሉ፡ ኣብ ዝተፈላለዩ መድረኻት “ንጉስ ኢትዮጵያ ክትከውን ኢኻ” ዝብል ትንቢት ከም ዘለዎ ክገልጽ ጸኒሑ እዩ። ናይ ኢሳያስን ኣብይን ህርፋን ልዕልናን ፈቓድን ህዝቢ ዘይቅበል፡ ጸረ ዲሞክራሲ እዩ። ምእንቲ ብሓባር ክቕጽሉ፡ ሓዲኦም ሕድገት ክገብሩ ከኣ ባህርያዊ ኣይኮነን። እዚ ካብ ኮነ ነፍሲ ወከፎም “ደሓን ናይ ሓባር ጸላኢናሞ  ነወግድ፡ ናቱስ ደሓር ከርክበሉ እየ” ዝብል ሕቡእ ሕልሚዶ ደኣ ይህልዎ ይኸውን። ስለዚ ናይቲ “ኢሳያሰ-ኣብይ፡ ሕጂኸ ናበይ?” ዝብል ሕቶ መልሲ ኣብ መጻኢ ሃሰስ እንብሎ ክኸውን ናይ ግድን እዩ።


Source: Lord Alton

War In Tigray: Peers today pressed for access to be given to Tigray to assess allegations of War Crimes and to ensure the safe arrival of urgently needed humanitarian aid and the protection of refugees.

Dec 2, 2020 | Featured parliamentary activity


Asked byLord Alton of Liverpool 

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the announcement by the government of Ethiopia on 30 November that military operations in the northern Tigray region are complete, what assessment they have made of the situation in that region; and what access they have (1) requested, and (2) been granted, to the region to establish (a) humanitarian needs, and (b) any evidence of war crimes.Lord Alton of Liverpool (CB)

My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question standing in my name on the Order Paper. In doing so, I declare my interest as the vice-chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Eritrea.The Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon) (Con)

My Lords, an initial Tigray humanitarian preparedness plan has been prepared by the United Nations. A comprehensive assessment of the humanitarian needs across Tigray has not yet been possible. We are encouraged that an assessment mission co-ordinated by the UN is scheduled to commence later this week, and this follows efforts by the UK and others to press for implementation of the assessment. We have also contributed to the UN guiding principles presented to the Government of Ethiopia on humanitarian access, with a view to the delivery of assistance for civilians.

Lord Alton of Liverpool (CB)

My Lords, I thank the Minister for that reply. Can I press him further on the issue of the humanitarian corridor? Will this conform to United Nations principles of neutrality, and will access be granted to our diplomats to visit Tigray? Secondly, how do we intend to hold to account those who have been responsible for the torture of refugees, the forced return of refugees and some pretty barbaric acts which have been carried out against some of those who have escaped from Tigray?

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Con)

My Lords, on the noble Lord’s second point, of course the situation at the moment does not allow for a full assessment. But let me assure him of this: we will certainly continue to press that any perpetrators of such acts are brought to justice. On his point about humanitarian corridors, we are liaising closely with the UN humanitarian organisations to establish what, if any, additional support is needed to press for diplomatic channels in particular—which we have been doing—to allow for the principles that he has articulated. It is integral to the principles laid down by OCHA, which the UK supported the development of.

Lord Hain (Lab) [V]

My Lords, does the Minister agree that there is a real prospect of the Ethiopian conflict getting right out of control, especially given the Horn of Africa’s strategic importance, with Gulf countries, China, the US and others jockeying for influence, or even becoming a Libyan nightmare of war crimes, war lords and ethnic cleansing? Can the Government redouble efforts to broker negotiations through the United Nations, the African Union and the EU?

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Con)

My Lords, first let me assure the noble Lord that I share his concern, when we see the challenges faced in neighbouring countries, about the importance of containing this and seeking a peaceful settlement. On the channels he has mentioned, my right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary discussed co-ordination with our EU partners on 23 November, and we are in discussions with key African partners, including Uganda, Somalia, Kenya and, importantly, South Africa. At the UN, we also participated in the Security Council debate on 24 November.

Baroness Northover (LD)

My Lords, given the risk to stability in the region, does the Minister agree with former US ambassador Carson when he said yesterday that the battle cannot be won militarily, and that it is vital that neighbours do not become embroiled through the use of their bases or airspace? Could he spell out which EU countries the United Kingdom is working with to secure these aims via the UN?

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Con)

On the noble Baroness’s two questions, I can say yes and yes. We are working specifically with the likes of Germany and France in this respect, which also have important equities in that area.

Lord Lancaster of Kimbolton (Con)

My Lords, all too often, women and children are the greatest victims of conflict. The UK is leading the way in the implementation of UN Resolution 1325, which recognises the importance of women’s involvement in peacekeeping. I visited and saw first-hand the UK contribution to the Peace Support Training Centre in Addis but, in light of recent events, is now the time to increase our commitment to that centre?

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Con)

My noble friend speaks with some insight and, of course, great expertise. I share his view that one of the real successes has been the women, peace and security programme run by the Ministry of Defence and the FCDO. On his specific question on whether we increase capacity, obviously the situation at the moment is very fluid on the ground, but he makes a very important suggestion, which I will certainly take back and update him on accordingly.

Baroness Cox (CB) [V]

My Lords, what assessment have Her Majesty’s Government made of the Ethiopian premier’s assertion in Parliament on 30 November that his forces “have not killed a single civilian” during the conflict in the Tigray region? That followed a statement by the International Committee of the Red Cross on 29 November that Ayder Referral Hospital in the Tigrayan capital was “running dangerously low” on stocks and body bags due to an influx of wounded people, and that 80% of them had suffered unspecified trauma injuries. What can be done to help the supply of medical equipment much needed for that hospital?

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Con)

My Lords, I assure the noble Baroness that I have been speaking directly to UN agencies, as have other colleagues within the FCDO. I share the important point she raised right at the end of her question, and we are pressing for unfettered humanitarian access. The number of fatalities is unclear, but there is clearly also a high level of internally displaced people. I assure her that we are using all good offices and lobbying directly with the country, as my right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary has done, to ensure unfettered humanitarian access to the region.

Lord Collins of Highbury (Lab)

Picking up the last point the Minister mentioned, on the number of internally displaced people, has there been an assessment of how many there are? Have conversations taken place with the Governments of Sudan and Eritrea over the support that could be given to refugees at the border as well?

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Con)

My Lords, on the noble Lord’s second point, the short answer is yes. We have raised it on a bilateral basis, as have international agencies. One figure I can share with him is that we now estimate that more than 45,449 people have fled Ethiopia for neighbouring Sudan—that is the latest figure I have. That is an example of the figures we have been able to make an assessment on.

Baroness Barker (LD)

My Lords, given that this is, in essence, a political and economic conflict, and given also that the Chinese Government are the biggest economic investor in Ethiopia, are Her Majesty’s Government working with the Chinese Government to see what influence they can bring to bear to calm matters and to bring about a potential negotiation between Ethiopia and Eritrea?

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Con)

The noble Baroness makes an important point. We too are one of the leading international donors to the country, and I assure her that we are using, in particular, our discussions at the UN in pursuit of that aim.

The Lord Bishop of St Albans [V] 

Prior to the conflict, Tigray was a safe haven for Eritrean refugees afraid to return home because of fear of persecution. With Eritrea’s rumoured involvement in the conflict against the TPLF, what assessment have Her Majesty’s Government made of the validity of claims that the Eritrean military are forcing refugees into trucks and abducting them back to Eritrea?

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Con)

The right reverend Prelate is right to raise those concerns. This too is part of the conversations that my right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary has had with the Eritrean Government. They, of course, refute any such programmes or policy, but we continue to raise our concerns directly with them.

Lord Robathan (Con)

My Lords, I first visited Ethiopia with the Commons International Development Committee. We had a long meeting with Meles Zenawi, who was very impressive, and was often described as Tony Blair’s favourite African dictator. He, of course, has been gone for many years. However, when I visited last year, although there was greater prosperity there was still grinding poverty. Can my noble friend assure me that henceforth, when we pour in billions and billions of pounds in aid, as we have done in Ethiopia, for humanitarian reasons and for education and health, we will also look at what is happening to the defence budgets of such countries? I am afraid that what has been happening is fungibility. We have been giving aid for education and health—they have been spending money on arms.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Con)

My noble friend raises an important point about transparency in development spending. That is why the new structure at the FCDO will pursue that very point, ensuring that development support is intended for those who are suffering, and gets directly to them.

Lord Harries of Pentregarth (CB) [V]

In answer to the question asked by the noble Baroness, Lady Northover, the Minister said that the Government were in touch with France and Germany. Are the Government in touch with any power in the region itself that might be an influence for good, and what response have they had from the African Union about the role that it might play?

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Con)

Let me assure the noble and right reverend Lord that yes, we are in touch with some of the countries I have already listed, such as Kenya, Uganda, Somalia and South Africa. We are dealing with those countries in the region at the most senior levels of government.

Baroness Goudie (Lab) [V]

My Lords, may I ask the Minister about local women being asked to be at the peace table, on both sides, from now on? It is only with local women at the peace table that we will get real peace.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Con)

I totally agree with the noble Baroness. The United Kingdom has been at the forefront of involving women peace mediators. Indeed, we have launched several initiatives, and I agree that when women are involved in bringing about peace and sustaining it, peace agreements last much longer. The evidence is there for all to see.

The Lord Speaker (Lord Fowler)

My Lords, all supplementary questions have been asked, and that brings Question Time to an end.12.52pm

Sitting suspended.


Following up today’s Oral Question in the House the following Written Questions have been tabled to the government:

Lord Alton of Liverpool to ask Her Majesty’s Government  whether they will ask the Ethiopian Government to establish a humanitarian corridor into Tigray; press for it to  conform to the neutrality principles laid down by UNOCHA so that it is not supervised by the Ethiopian government in a way that would compromise the neutrality of the operation; and seek access for UK diplomats to all affected areas, including those now under Tigrayan control, to collect evidence of War Crime and Crimes against Humanity?

Lord Alton of Liverpool to ask Her Majesty’s Government  what assessment they have made of the consideration being given by the EU in considering in withholding aid to the Ethiopian until the impact of the conflict on human rights in Tigray can be assessed; how much UK aid was given to Ethiopia last year and over the past decade; in what ways UK funding is being used to insist on an end to conflict in Tigray including urging the Ethiopian government to accept the role of the African Union former presidents who were mandated to mediate to end this conflict.

Lord Alton of Liverpool to ask Her Majesty’s Government   what assessment it has made of independent reports from the UN refugee camps in Tigray of the forcible refoulment of thousands of Eritrean refugees to their former homeland; whether they believes such returned refugees will face torture and imprisonment; if it has raised this with the Eritrean government the halting of this violation of the UNHCR’s mandate to protect the refugees in its care; and, if so, what response it has received.

ዝኸበርካ ህዝቢ ኤርትራ፡ ኣብ ኣርእስተይ ተመርኲሰ ሓሳባተይ ብጽሑፍ ናብ ሕብረተ-ሰበይ ከመሓላልፍ እንከለኹ፡ ብመጠኑ ንሕዋሳተይ ሕልናዊ ዕረፍቲ ክህበኒ እንከሎ፡ ብካልእ ኣዘራርባ ከኣ፡ ወዲ-ሰብ ሓታትን መላስን ርእይቶኣውን ክኸውን ኣብ ሓደ ሕብረተ-ሰብ መሰረታዊ ኣምር‘ዩ።

ዝኸበርካ ኤርትራዊ፡ ንኣርእስተይ ብመጀመርያ ምስ ረኣኻ፡ ብፍላይ ኣብቲ መሪር ሃለዋት ምስ ትህሉ ንደቓይቕ ክትሓስብን ዝን ክትብልን ኢኻ። ብርግጽ ከኣ ኣርእስተይ ጽሑፈይ ሕልና ኩሉ ኤርትራዊ ክትንክፍ ምዃኑ ጥርጥር የብለይን።

ዝኸበርካ ህዝቢ ኤርትራ፡ ን30 ዓመታት መሪር ቃልሲ ተቓሊስካ ሰፍ ዘይብል መስዋእቲ ከፊልካ፡ በቶም ጀጋኑ ደቅኻን በታ ክብርቲ ዋዕሮ ጓልካን፡ ታሪኽ ናይ ንሓዋሩ ነጻነትካ ኣብ ቅድሚ ህዝቢ ዓለም ኣመስኪርካ፤ ብርእሰ-ተኣማንነት ብረፈረንዱም 99.8 እወ ንነጻነት ኣድሚጽካን ንዓለም ኣበሲርካን፡ ባንደራኻ ኣብ መንጎ ባንዴራታት ሃገራት ዓለም ኣብ ህንጻ ኣደራሽ ዓለም ኣንበልቢላ ኤርትራ ዝብል ክብሪ ኣብ ናይ መዝገብ ታሪኽ ሰፊራ።

ዝኸበርካ ኣንታ ተባዕ ኤርትራዊ፡ ኣነ ከም ጸሓፍን ሓሳብ ኣቕራብን፡ ሓደ ዘይርሳዕ ወትሩ ዘተሓሳስበንን ዘጕህየንን ኩሉ ግዜ ብጽምዋ ክሓስብ እንከለኹ ሓደ ሕቶ ይመጸኒ። ስለምንታይ ንሕና ሕብረተሰብ ኤርትራ ኣብ ከምዚ ኩነታት ኣቲና? ንሱ ከኣ ነቲ ሓድሽ ጉዕዞ ነጻነት ከየስተማቐርካ ፖለቲካዊ ቍጠባዊ ማሕበራዊ ሕውየት እናጠመትካ ኣብ ኲናት ተሸሚምካ፥ መንእሰይ ወለዶ ብዳግማይ ኲናት ከሲርና። እዚ ከኣ ብዕላማ ንምንዋሕ ስልጣን ዝተገብረ ድሒሩ ዝተጋህደ ፡-

1 - እቲ ተወዲኡ ዝነበረ ቅዋም ሕጊ ግዜ ብምቕታል ከይትግበር ስልጣኑ ንምንዋሕ፤

2 - ደሞክራሲ ኣብ ኤርትራ ከይትከል ምርጫ ከይግበርን፤
3 - ፓርላማ ከይህሉ ምግባር፤

4 - ኩሉ ኣብ ትሕቲ ቅዋም ሕጊ እታ ተሓታትነት እትብል ኣምር ዓንቀጽ ክትመጽእ ከም እትኽእል ስለ ዝፈልጥ፥ ንከይትመጾ፤

5 - ኣብ መወዳእታ ህዝቢ ኤርትራ እታ እንኮ ብማዕርነት እትፈትሕ “ቅዋም ሕጊ“ እናተጸበየ ከሎ ቅዋም ሞይቱ ተባሂልካ።

ዝኸበርካ ኤርትራዊ፡ እዚ ኣበሃህላ ከም ህዝብን ከም ሃገርን ብጣዕሚ ዘሕፍርን ዘነውርን፥ ከም ሰብ፡ ከም ኤርትራዊ እሞ ከኣ “ንቅዋም ሕጊ ሕብረተሰብ፡ ንቅዋም ሕጊ ሃገር“ እቲ ስርዓት ደፊሩ ከምዚ ኢሉ ክዛረብ ከሎ፡ ንሕና ኤርትራውያን ተመሊሰ ክሓስቦ እንከለኹ ብርግጽ ንሓስብ ኣሎናዶ? ክሳብ ሕጂኸ እንታይ‘ዩ ዘጸብየና ዘሎ ክሳብ ክንድዚ ግዜ ምውሳድ ነዚ ደቂ-ደቁ ዝበልዕ ጨካን ስርዓት።  

ስማዕ ኤርትራዊ! እዚ ስርዓት ከማኻ ሰብ፡ ግን ባህሪ ናይ ሰብ ዘየብሉ፡ እሞ ከኣ ዝመሽመሸ ክንሱ ንሕግታትካን መሰልካን ንማሕበራዊ ክብርታትካን ክኽልክለካን ከፍቅደልካን ከሎ ን6 ሚልዮን ህዝቢ ኤርትራ ከሕፍርን ከነውርን ጸኒሑን ዘሎን‘ዩ። እዚ ስለ ዝኾነ ከኣ ሕጂ‘ውን ደጋጊመ እንታይ ኢኻ ትጽበ ዘሎኻ ክብለካ ሕልናውን ታሪኻውን ከም ኤርትራዊ ይግድደኒ።

ዝኸበርካ ህዝቢ ኤርትራ፡ እዚ ስርዓት‘ዚ ብቐደሙ ልቡ ምሳኻ ኣይነበረን፡ ስለ ዝኾነ ከኣ ጥመ - ሕመም - ሙት -  ዕረቕ -ሃሉ-ኣይትሃሉ ኣይግድሶን‘ዩ። እዚ ዝስዕብ ኢሰብኣዊ ተግባር ን29 ዓመት ገይሩዎን ብዝኸፍአ ድማ ይቕጽሎ ኣሎን፡ ንሱ ድማ ሓደ ክልተ ኢልካ ስለ ዘይውዳእ እዚ ዝስዕብ ጥራሕ ክጠቅስ‘የ፡-

1 - ተኣሲርካ ኣብ ሕጊ ዘይትቐርበሉን፡ ኣሎኻን የሎኻን ዘይትፍለጠሉ፤

2 - እኽሊ ኣብ ድላይካ ገጠርን ከተማታትን ከትሸይጥን ከይትሽምትን ዝኽልክለካ፤

3 - ን29 ዓመታት ናይ ኩቦን ተጸባያይ ዝገብረካ፤

4 - ኤርትራውያት ኣደታት ንደቀን ከየዐንግላ ብሒቝ ዝደፍኣልካ፤

5 - ብርሃን ከይትርኢ ኣብ ጸልማት ዘንብረካ፤

6 -  ማይ ከይትሰቲ ብጽምኣት ጐሮሮኻ ዘንቅጸካ፤

7 - ትካላት ስራሓት ዓጽዩ ኣብ ጽርግያ ዘውዕለካ፤

8 - ማእሪርካ ሸቒጥካ ድራርካ ከይተእቱ ዝጐየካ፡ ንርብዒት እኽሊ ኣብ ብሎኮታት ዝምንጥለካ፤

9 - ሕክምና ፈውሲ ዘይትረኽበላ ሃገር ገይሩካ፤

10 - እተን ነዊሕ ዓመታት ይዕበያ ይንኣሳ ነቲ ድኻ ህዝቢ ኣብ ገጠር ይኹን ኣብ ከተማ ዝኣልያ ዝነበራ ሕክምናታት ካቶሊካዊት ቤተ ክርስትያን ዓጽዩልካ፤

11 - ህዝቢ ኤርትራ ጸጋታት ሃገሩ ዘይፈልጠሉ፤

12 - ዕብየት ቁጠባ ሃገሩ ይውሓድ ይብዛሕ ዘይፈልጠሉ፤

13 - ህዝቢ ኤርትራ ን29 ዓመታት ዓመታዊ ባጀት ዘይፈልጠሉ፤

14 - ትካላት ትምህርቲ ምዕባለኡ ዘይትፈልጠሉ።

ዝኸበርካ ህዝቢ ኤርትራ፡ እዚ ስርዓት‘ዚ ንትካላት ትምህርቲ ኣዳኺሙ፡ ብፍላይ ንመንእሰይ ኤርትራዊ ብሓፈሻ ድማ ንሕብረተሰብ ኢርትራ ምስ ዓለሙ ተወዳዳራይ ከይከውን፡ ኣብ ሓንቲ ናይ ባርነት ማእከል ዝኾነት “ሳዋ“ ዓጽዩ ንኣምስሉ ንህዝቢ ኤርትራ ንምድንጋር ንትምህርቲ ዘይተማልአ ኮለጃት እሞ ድማ ብወትሃደራት ዝመሓደራ ከም ኮለጅ ማይ ነፍሒ ዝኣመሰላ ገይረ ክብል እንከሎ ዘገርም‘ዩ። እቲ ኣዝዩ ዘገርም ድማ፡ እታ ሓንቲ እንሕበነላ ኣብ ዓለም ተቐባልነት ከም ዝነበራ ዘመስከረት፡ ክንደይ ኤርትራውያን ምሁራት ዘፍረየት፡ መንእሰይ ኤርትራ፡ ብሓፈሻ ድማ ህዝቢ ኤርትራ ብተስፋ ንእኣ እናጠመተ ዝመሃረላ ዝነበረ ዩኒቨርሲቲ ኣስመራ፡ እዚ ስርዓት‘ዚ ህዝብና ናብ መኣዲ ትምህርቲ ንከይጐዪ ራኢ መጻኢኡ ንከይጥምት ብመደብ ዓጸዋ። ዝገርም፡ ኣነ ከም ሓሳብ ኣቕራብን ከም ኤርትራዊ ከም ሰብ፡ ኣብ ዓለም ዝኾነት ሃገር፡ ኣንትርፎ ትምህርቲ ኣስፋሕፊሑ፡ ዩኒቨርሲቲ ዓጽያ ዝብል ሰሚዐ ኣይፈልጥን።   

ኣብዚ ክብሎ ዝደሊ፡ ህዝቢ ኤርትራ ብሓባር፡ ደቅና ኣበይ ክመሃሩ፡ ኣብ ክንዲ ዩኒቨርሲቲ ምውሳኽ ስለምንታይ እታ እንኮ ብዙሓት መንእሰያት ከተፍሪ ዝጸንሐት ዩኒቨርሲቲ ኣስመራ ትዕጾ ብምባል፡ ብነድሪ ክልዓል ዘይከኣለ? ሕጂ‘ውን ብጣዕሚ ይገርመኒ፡ ደቅናኸ እንታይ ክብሉና‘ዮም ዝብል ኣተሓሳስባ ክመጽእ ዘይከኣለ። ዘሕፍር ናይ ድንቁርና ስቕታ ብምውሳድና፡ ካብ ዓለምና ብኩሉ ደረጃታት ድሕሪት ተሪፍና። አረ እንታይ ኢኻ ትጽበ ዘሎኻ ዝኸበርካ ህዝቢ ኤርትራ? ዝኸበርካ ሰራዊት ምክልኻል ኤርትራ፡ ሕጂ ዳግማይ ታሪኽ ስራሕ።

ዝኸበርካ ህዝቢ ኤርትራ፡ ጐረባብትና ኣብ 28 ዓመት ኣበየናይ ደረጃ ትምህርቲ በጺሖም፡ በቲ ዘለዎም ዓቕሚ ትካላት ትምህርቲ ቀዳምነት ሂቦም፡ ካብ ዝተሓተ ክሳብ እቲ ዝለዓለ ደረጃ ኮለጃትን ኡኒቨርሲቲታትን ጌሮም፥ ብዝተፈላለየ ዓይነት ትምህርቲ ሰሪዖም ብሰርቲፊከይት፡ ዲግሪ፡ ዲፕሎም፡ ማስተርን ዶክተሬትን ከመርቑ ንርኢ ኣሎና። እዚ ጥራይ ዘይኮነ፡ ተሰዲዶም ዝኸዱ ኤርትራውያን ይውሓዱ ይብዝሑ ናይ ትምህርቲ ዕድል ተዋሂቡዎም ብዝለዓለ ደረጃ ክምረቑ ሰሚዕናን ርኢናን ኣሎና። ኣነ ከም ጸሓፍን ሓሳብ ኣቕራብን ምስጋናይ ወሰን የብሉን።

ዝኸበርካ ኤርትራዊ፡ ስደት ህዝቢ ኤርትራ ብፍላይ ድማ መንእሰይ ወለዶ ኤርትራ መወዳድርቲ ዘይብሉ፡ ኣብ ዓለም ተራእዩ ዘይፈልጥ ኣብ መዝገብ ዓለም ፍልሰት ኣህዛብ ደቂ-ሰባት ቀዳማይ ደረጃ ሒዙ ይርካብ፡ የሕዝን። ዝኸበርካ ኤርትራዊ፡ ጉዕዞ ስደት መንእሰይ ኤርትራ ሓደ ክልተ ኢለ ብከፊል ክጠቕሶ እንከለኹ እዚ ዝስዕብ ይመስል፡-

1 - ቀዳማይ ስጉምቲ ኣብ ዶብ ተመልከተለይ ብጥይት፤

2 - ኣብ መገዲ ጭውያ፡ መግረፍቲ፤

3 - ሞት ምድረ-በዳን ባሕርን፤

4 - ውሽጣዊ ኣካላት መንእሰይ ኰላሊትን ካልእን ኣውጺእካ ምሻጥ፤

5 - ዓመጽ ደቂ-ኣንስትዮ ካብ መጀመርያ ጉዕዞ ክሳብ መወዳእታ፤

6 - ብእምነትካ ክሳብ ክሳድ ምቝራጽ ዘስካሕክሕ ጭካነ።

ኣነ ከም ጸሓፋይ ነታ ቍጽሪ 6 ዘላ ኣብ ጽሑፈይ ከስፍራ እንከለኹ ንብዓት ይስዕረኒ፡ እንታይሞ ይግበር። ካብዚ ቀጺለ ጥፍኣት ላምፓዱሳ 365 መንእሰያት ኤርትራውያን ንዓለም ዘሰንበደን ዘብከየን፡ ንህዝቢ ኤርትራ ጸላም መዓልቲ ኣብ ታሪኽ መዝገብ ኤርትራዊ ዘይርሳዕ እዩ። ኣብዚ እቲ ዘገርም፡ እቲ ጨካን ስርዓት ኣፍሪቃውያን‘ዮም ክብል ተሰሚዑ። ስለዚ ህዝቢ ኤርትራ፡ ስቕታኻ ዓለም ገሪሙዎ እንታይ ኢኻ ትጽበ ዘሎኻ ድሕሪ ክሕደት እዚ ጨካን ስርዓት። ኣብዚ ከስፍሮ ዝደሊ፡ ናይ ካቶሊክ ጳጳሳት እናነብዑ ዕምባባ ከንብሩሎም፡ ኣብቲ ባሕሪ ዕምባባ ጸምበለል ክብልን፡ ጸሎቶም እናነብዑ ከብጽሑ እንከለዉ ንብዓት ኤርትራዊ ብነድሪ ተኻዕወ። ካልኦት ሃይማኖታት በብናቶም ጸሎትን ፍትሓትን ኣብጽሑ። እቲ ጨካን ስርዓት ምስቶም ውሑዳት ሰዓብቱ ክለሃይ (ክስዕስዕ) ወዓለ። ድሕሪ‘ዚ ክሳብ ሕጂ ኤርትራዊ እንታይ ኢኻ ትጽበ ዘሎኻ።

ዝኸበርካ ህዝቢ ኤርትራ፡ እዚ ስርዓት‘ዚ ኣይናትካን ምዃኑ ደጋጊሙ ነጊሩካ ምዃኑ ዓሰርተታት ዓመታት ዘቝጸረ ክንሱ እንታይ ኢኻ ትጽበ ዘሎኻ? እዚ ስርዓት‘ዚ ብተኣምር ክድሕን ስለ ዘይክእል ብድሕረይ ሳዕሪ ኣይብቈላ እዩ ዕላምኡ። ሕጂ ከኣ ኣብ ዘይምልከተና መንእሰይ ደቅና ኤርትራውያን ኣብ ኲናት ጠቢሱዎም ብወትሃደራት ኢትዮጵያ እናተኸብከቡ ኣብ ሓዊ ኣትዮም ኣለዉ። ኤርትራዊ እንታይ ኢኻ ትጽበ ዘሎኻ? ደቅኻ ብስቕታኻ ንሞት ፈሪድካዮም። ደፊርካ ኣይትበሉኒ ብርግጽ ህዝቢ ኤርትራ ንሓስብዶ ኣሎና? ዝኸበርካ ኣቦ-ኣደ-ሓው-ሓብቲ ብምልኡ ሕብረተ-ሰብ ኤርትራ፡ መስዋእቲ ከፊልካ ሕጂ ነቲ ኲናት እምቢ ኢልካ፡ ነዚ ጨካን ስርዓት ካብ ሱሩ ደርብዮ። ህዝቢ ኤርትራ፡ እዚ ውሳንየ እንተዘይገበርካ፡ ጽባሕ ንግሆ ክልተ ሞት ክኸውን‘ዩ። እቲ ኤርትራዊ መንነት እቲ ትምክሕቲ ኤርትራዊ ጀግንነት፡ መስዋእቲ ነጻነት ነበርያ-ነበረይ ከይከውን፡ ኣስተውዕል ኤርትራዊ እብለካ ኣለኹ።  



The conditions are really discouraging and awful.

We haven’t got any kind of supplies.  People are terribly disturbed.

Between 60 and 80 people are leaving the camp every day, in the hope of finding somewhere safer.

This morning alone 9 youths and 7 people from two families left near me.

The Amara militia are searching for the TPLF militia who hid in the area of the camp.

Last night they broke into the UNHCR office to search for hidden weapons and soldiers. Today they broke into the building at which our rations are stored.

The environment in the camp doesn’t feel safe.

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