Certainly the agreement calls for the withdrawal of, as you pointed out, not only Eritrean forces but Amhara special forces and Afar militia that are currently in Tigray.  I don’t want to get ahead of ourselves in terms of what will happen if these commitments aren’t abided by, because what we’re hearing from the Government of Ethiopia and certainly from the other side in terms of the Tigrayan authorities is that they are committed to ensuring that this happens. The United States always has at its disposal as a policy tool the prospect of sanctions, and we will not hesitate to deploy them if that should become necessary in terms of holding actors accountable for human rights violations or for the purposes of trying to ensure that this agreement is respected and abided.

Source: State Department

Briefing with Senior State Department Official on the Situation in Ethiopia




NOVEMBER 15, 2022

MODERATOR:  Good afternoon, everybody.  Welcome to today’s call on the situation in Ethiopia.  Today’s call is on background to a senior State Department official and embargoed until its conclusion.  We are joined – for your information and not for reporting, we are joined today by [Senior State Department Official] who will be referred to hereafter as a senior State Department official in our transcript.  We will have some time for questions at the end, but I’d like to start off by turning it over to our senior State Department official to begin with some opening remarks. [Senior State Department Official], please go ahead.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL:  Thank you very much, and thank you, everybody, for taking the time.  I think it’s just afternoon in D.C.  I’m actually calling in from – well, if I reveal where I’m calling in from it’ll be very obvious who the senior State Department official is, but you’ll get the sense for it in a moment.

So I wanted to just frame a little bit of what’s happened over the last six weeks.  I’m not going to go at great length, but you may recall that during the UN General Assembly President Biden said in his UN General Assembly speech that the United States supports an AU-led process to try to bring peace and stability to northern Ethiopia.  And that is, in fact, what we have been doing as the United States, supporting the African Union in a very intense diplomatic effort that has involved not only the Secretary but the Deputy Secretary Wendy Sherman, Under Secretary Toria Nuland, our Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Molly Phee, our USUN Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, people over at the White House and across the interagency, and of course, the SEHOA team and our embassies – multiple embassies in Addis, Nairobi, and also in Pretoria.

I will say that as we launched on this trip and been up in talks beginning in Pretoria on October 25th, it was very clear from the get-go that the goal as put forward by all parties during these talks in Pretoria was, as the AU has said, to silence the guns, to stop the fighting.  This was reflected by the panel members, who did an outstanding job in leading the facilitation mediation effort.  You know that that was the panel chair who was and is and remains former President Obasanjo, who represents – is a high representative for the Horn of Africa, joined by former Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, and then as well as Deputy President Phumzile of South Africa.  And we on the part of the United States commend not only the work of the panel, the African Union, but also extremely impressed with the commitments as hosts and in support of this process of both South Africa and the Kenyan Governments.

The clear goal, as I stated, was to stop the fighting.  And as you may recall, within about 48 to 72 hours after November 2nd’s Permanent Cessation of Hostilities Agreement was signed fighting in fact had stopped between the Ethiopian National Defense Force and the Tigrayan Defense Forces.  This is a major, important achievement, showing real willingness and indication on the part of the parties to stop the fighting and to move forward on what was most necessary in terms of supporting not only the Tigrayan people but those Ethiopians affected in the adjoining regions of Amhara and Afar.

As was provided for in the Pretoria agreement, within a couple days there was a hotline established between the top-level military commanders of the ENDF and the TDF.  And then what you saw happened within five days is the launch of the next phase, the follow-on implementation phase of the cessation of hostilities agreement that began in Nairobi on November 7th between the top commanders of both the ENDF, Field Marshal Jula, and then of the TDF, or as it has become known now as the Tigrayan armed combatants, General Tadesse. They were joined by other representatives of their respective militaries as well as the continued political leadership of the TPLF Getachew Reda and then of course the lead Ethiopian Government representative, the national security advisor Redwan Hussein.

Now after another intense week or so you saw then the realization of a follow-on agreement for Nairobi that was signed on the 12th.  And what you saw there is yet another important step towards establishing a longing – a lasting peace.  The Nairobi agreement is significant because it expanded upon and clarified some of the key issues that were addressed and agreed upon and understood in Pretoria, including very specifically, as you may have seen from the text that was released, the commitment to a withdrawal of foreign forces as well as those non-ENDF forces from the region and that that would be done concurrently with the expected Tigrayan disarmament.  This is significant because it was the first acknowledgement in essence that there are Eritrean forces operating inside of Ethiopia, and there is now a clear understanding that they are to withdraw.

Furthermore, the agreement in Nairobi built upon the urgency of Pretoria to expedite humanitarian access and the restoration of services in Tigray and in the adjoining regions.  And what we have seen in the days following is the beginnings of what is extremely urgent in terms of saving lives and addressing the suffering of the Ethiopian people in this region, which is the beginnings of delivery of humanitarian assistance that in essence had stopped when the conflict restarted on August 24th.  I’ll have a few more details on the humanitarian assistance delivery.  There was also a clear commitment to the protection of civilians, to ensuring that there’s human rights accountability, and that there’s continued human rights monitoring to ensure that no further human rights abuses are committed.

As the implementation goes forward, much of that responsibility falls upon the African Union’s monitoring verification mechanism, which is being finalized, and which is meant to support the implementation process.  And our intent as the United States is to continue to support as asked this – the entire facilitation process, the implementation process.  In fact, now there’s a – as you will have seen from Nairobi agreement, also there’s an establishment of a joint commission on disarmament between the Ethiopian and Tigrayan armed forces to work out some of the details.  It’s important that implementation be followed through.

We – or we know that the special envoy for the Horn of Africa was back in Mekelle to return the Tigrayan delegation and had an opportunity to meet with TPLF President Dr. Debretsion as well as then follow on in his trip to Addis Ababa over yesterday and today and had an opportunity to meet with Ethiopian Government leadership, including Prime Minister Abiy and Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen.  And from all, they have reiterated their steadfast commitment to the implementation of this agreement and their strong desire for this to realize in fact the goals intended from the signing of – in Pretoria of a – it is a permanent, very important – permanent cessation of hostilities that then brings a lasting peace.

It is important to note as well that the special envoy for the Horn was able to also meet today with the African Union Chairperson Faki to continue to discuss and review how the United States might be able to continue to support the implementation of this important set of agreements that were reached in Pretoria and Nairobi as well as have – the SEHOA was able to meet with other international partners who are here present in Addis to see how we might continue to cooperate in common cause in support of advancing stability and peace in northern Ethiopia.

Let me just say a couple words on humanitarian access before I turn it over to your questions.  Clearly, this is urgent, given that humanitarian assistance had been discontinued, as I mentioned, since August 24th.  And we have the first reports today of ICRC trucks arriving safely in Mekelle with stocks of medical cargo and additionally other convoys from the World Food Program that are going from Bandar to Mai Tsebri with nearly 300 metric tons of mixed aid commodities.

It is absolutely vital that humanitarian assistance be robustly provided unhindered, as has been agreed to by the parties.  And things are starting to move, but again, it’s the beginning.  But this must be sustained and it must deliver for the people of Tigray and those in the affected regions of Afar and Amhara.

We are very realistic in understanding that these are the early stages, that implementation will require continued effort on the part of not only the African Union, the panel, the governments that are supporting it – specifically South Africa and Kenya – but also the observers, which include the United Nations, IGAD, and the United States.  And we will continue to provide our diplomatic support, provide logistic support, and if there are other requests for assistance to make sure that this process endures, we are prepared and very ready to do so.

With that, I’ve gone a little bit long, but let me just turn it back over to you and take your questions.  Thank you.

MODERATOR:  Thank you so much, sir.  Don, would you mind repeating the instructions for joining the question queue?

OPERATOR:  Absolutely.  If you wish to ask a question, please press 1 then 0 on your telephone keypad.  If you’re using a speakerphone, please pick up the handset before pressing the numbers.  Once again, please press 1 then 0.

MODERATOR:  Excellent.  Could we please go to the line of Daphne from Reuters?

OPERATOR:  One moment.  And your line is open.

QUESTION:  Hi.  Thank you so much for doing this.  I wanted to ask you about the Eritrean troops.  We understand that Eritrean soldiers as well as Amhara militias are still in Tigray and there is no sign they intend to withdraw, especially the Eritreans.  What happens if Eritreans don’t withdraw?  Are more sanctions from the U.S. on the table?  Thank you.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL:  Yeah, thank you very much, Daphne.  Appreciate the question.  Certainly the agreement calls for the withdrawal of, as you pointed out, not only Eritrean forces but Amhara special forces and Afar militia that are currently in Tigray.  I don’t want to get ahead of ourselves in terms of what will happen if these commitments aren’t abided by, because what we’re hearing from the Government of Ethiopia and certainly from the other side in terms of the Tigrayan authorities is that they are committed to ensuring that this happens.

The United States always has at its disposal as a policy tool the prospect of sanctions, and we will not hesitate to deploy them if that should become necessary in terms of holding actors accountable for human rights violations or for the purposes of trying to ensure that this agreement is respected and abided.

There are clearly – there is a tremendous focus on both sides understanding that because of the language which ties the withdrawal of foreign forces and other forces that are non-ENDF to the disarmament, that it’s in both parties’ interests that this be realized expeditiously.  They have formed the joint committee to review procedures and implementation.  This is a work in progress.  We are encouraged again by the comments made publicly today by Prime Minister Abiy to the national parliament, assembly, reiterating his commitment for peace.

And therefore the expectation is that while this may take some time that both parties understand that there was in the end no military option for success and that the only success could come through dialogue, and that’s why ultimately this Pretoria process that then has continued on through Nairobi and which will continue on with additional rounds that will be focused on resolving and addressing political issues, that it just – it needs to be through dialogue.

But we’re under no illusions.  This is the early days.  It’s promising in terms of the follow-on action that we’re starting to see happening, but you can rest assured that we won’t rest for a minute and we’ll remain completely focused as the United States in supporting the efforts of both sides to go forward through the African Union process and their verification and monitoring mechanism to continue to make incremental progress until all aspects of both agreements that were signed are realized.

Thank you, Daphne.

MODERATOR:  Thank you so much.  Could we please go to the line of Zeba Warsi from PBS News?

OPERATOR:  One moment.

QUESTION:  Thank you so much for doing this.  My question is about humanitarian aid access.  It is good news indeed that today two trucks carrying medical supplies have reached Mekelle City.  But could you please tell us what are the nitty-gritties of – in the agreement with respect to humanitarian aid access?  Is it conditional on the truth or is it permanent in its duration?  And is there anything specifically about guaranteeing safety to aid workers?  Because we’ve seen the conflict has been particularly deadly even for humanitarian aid workers.  Thank you.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL:  Yeah.  No, thank you very much, Zeba.  The commitment is really clear.  It was clear in Pretoria and it was further elucidated and expanded upon in Nairobi.  Humanitarian assistance is to flow unhindered, and that is the commitment.  There should be no restrictions.  There’s always going to be some consideration, and this is something that humanitarians are keenly aware of, and you hinted at that for some security reasons potentially at times some deliveries won’t be possible.  But let’s remember that for five months between March and until August 24th there was a humanitarian truce that was respected by both sides which allowed the flow of humanitarian assistance, and now we actually have an agreement in writing that commits both parties to enable this.

There are, I’m sure, going to be some guidelines as usually happens in a time of conflict, but as this is being worked out, the permits need to be provided and are being provided from what we understand as of today.  And they need to progress.  We have to get urgent assistance – not only food but also medicine and other lifesaving supplies – to the people most in need to alleviate the suffering.

And likewise there is a commitment on the restoration of services, which has been an issue that has not been addressed.  That includes not only telecommunications and banking but also electricity.  And again, the Nairobi agreement makes clear that that is going to be happening within the next couple of weeks.  Some of that needs to occur in conjunction with, as the Tigrayans have accepted, the federal takeover of federal installations.  So we just need to stay very focused on making sure that this is happening.

In terms of protections for humanitarian workers, clearly there is a focus in the Nairobi agreement on protection of civilians, and clearly that also reflects a concern that humanitarian aid workers be able to do their jobs without fear.  This is something that, again, both parties have committed to.  With the stopping in the fighting, it does allow for a conducive environment, and so there’s every expectation that humanitarian aid workers will be able to do their heroic jobs to deliver food, medicine, and other necessary supplies to those in greatest need.

But again, rest assured – on the part of the United States and our partners in the international community, as well as, I think for sure, the African Union’s verification and monitoring mechanism – that every effort is going to be made that if there are issues that they’re resolved quickly and do not in any way impede humanitarian assistance from getting to those who most need it.  Thank you much, Zeba.

MODERATOR:  Thank you so much.  Can we please go to the line of Pearl Matibe from Power FM 98.7?

QUESTION:  Thank you very much.  I really appreciate you doing this, particularly on this topic.  My question – I’d like to probe and just press you a little bit on two aspects, on observation and capacitating African Union players.  So is there – in your role as the United States in observing, could you speak a little bit more specifically about what that means and what that looks like in operationalizing that?

And then to what extent, if any, is Africa Command a part of this in terms of helping to capacitate maintaining the peace or stopping the hostilities?  Are they playing a role at all, and if so, to what extent?  Thanks.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL:  Thank you very much, Pearl, for those good questions.  The United States was invited by Chairperson Faki to be an active – participate and to be part of the observer partners during the process, of course, in Pretoria and Nairobi and continue on.  And Special Envoy for the Horn Mike Hammer met today with Chairperson Faki and we remain very much committed to continue to support that.

That can come in a series of ways.  It’s engaging in and supporting the process as the panel, whether it’s President Obasanjo or President Kenyatta or Dr. Phumzile, might need in terms of assistance where the United States might have influence or be able to provide reassurance to either party on any particular issue.  It has involved logistical support.  I’m sure you’re aware that we have been flying the Tigrayan delegation on military aircraft out and into Mekelle in support of this mission, at the request of the African Union, and of course with the full consent of the Ethiopian Government.  So there’s some logistical support that comes along with our observation partnership, but also we remain open to other requests that may come.

You asked about the Africa Command.  It has only been involved, again, in providing the logistical military support, and there’s no expectation, there’s been no request for anything further than that.  This is an AU process.  The African Union has established, in agreement with both parties, this monitoring and verification mechanism that will bring 10 experts under the leadership of the panel to work out the mechanism.  I know for a fact that there were Kenyan generals as well as South African generals in Nairobi working through some of these issues with the African Union Commission.  There’s intent to also have Nigerian generals participate.  And I would refer you to the African Union on the specifics of how this verification mechanism will carry out in terms of its monitoring.

If there are requests for support from the United States or any other of the partners, whether it’s the UN or IGAD, of course we’ll be looking to see how we can best accommodate those requests.  It is in everyone’s interest to make sure that the monitoring mechanism is robust and effective, to give confidence to the parties that, if there are lags or commitments that are not being met, that they can be addressed in a way that preserves the intent of the agreement.  It is very important to recognize that by calling it a Permanent Cessation of Hostilities Agreement, as was signed in Pretoria, that this is meant to be everlasting and no return to fighting.

So issues need to be worked through.  No implementation I can imagine will be perfect.  There will be, I’m sure, some issues that come up that need to be resolved.  But through the African Union and with the support of the partners and perhaps others who may be added to the process to help bring this about, I think that there’s a good chance to be successful.

One of the issues we haven’t really discussed is continuing on – not only will there be the need for political dialogue in future rounds, but also for the implementation of a robust demobilization, disarmament, and reintegration.  And that’s, as we know, in most conflicts, a very intense process that requires financial support, it’s critical to the success of this agreement, and there will be further discussions and studying of how that is carried out.  I understand the Government of Ethiopia has already assembled or is assembling a committee to go through how it might go forward with dealing with some of the combatants and how they can be best reintegrated.

And then finally, there’s a matter of reconstruction.  Horrible, horrible damage and destruction has happened over the last two years, and there is an urgent need, again, to rebuild and reconstruct not only Tigray but in some areas of the adjoining regions of Afar and Amhara.  And that’s going to require considerable financial support and it will be a subject for future rounds.  But that is something that is envisioned as part of this process, and again, the United States along with the other observers are prepared to do our part, but it may require, again, broader international support.

What I have experienced from meeting with colleagues and – from other countries and other organizations is this tremendous goodwill to try to support this agreement to ensure that this conflict has ended for good, that all the loss of life is – has been tremendously tragic, but that now the focus needs to be on providing for the people of Ethiopia.  And more broadly than not just northern Ethiopia, I’m sure the focus rightfully will return to many urgent needs.  You know the United States is very involved and the biggest supporter of assistance, humanitarian assistance when it comes to drought relief and also in helping other regions that have difficult issues as well.

So while we’re focused on northern Ethiopia, the United States is involved and engaged throughout Ethiopia in support of the Ethiopian people.  Thank you very much, Pearl.

MODERATOR:  Thank you so much.  I think we have time for one quick final question.  Could we go to the line of Jennifer Hansler from CNN?

QUESTION:  Hi, thank you so much for doing this.  I just wanted to follow up on what you said about accountability for human rights abuses, if you could give us any more details on that and the role the U.S. is going to play or – and has there been any determination of genocide or crimes against humanity that has been made by the U.S. in terms of what happened in Ethiopia?  Thank you.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL:  Great.  Thank you very much, Jennifer.  It was very much a point of focus in the initial talks in Pretoria and continued on in Nairobi and in the discussions that the special envoy to the Horn of Africa has had both with Dr. Debretsion and Prime Minister Abiy and those in the leadership of both Tigray as well as in the Ethiopian Government.  And it has been expressed that there needs to be, absolutely needs to be accountability for gross violations of human rights.  That is a process that is underway in terms of how Ethiopia will come to terms with it.

We of course encourage that there be international monitoring and assistance and investigation in support of those efforts.  It is important that there’s a commitment to transitional justice.  It was discussed both in Pretoria and Nairobi.  Now that the conflict has ended, more, obviously, work needs to be done, because since August 24th there has been virtually no access to media or others to be able to really investigate and find out what has transpired.  But there is a commitment on the part of both parties to ensure that there is accountability.

On the question of a determination on atrocities, one has not been made yet.  I’ll leave that to the Secretary of State.  Let’s just be clear, though, that the United States is absolutely committed to ensuring that those who are responsible for gross violations of human rights are held accountable, and that there be justice for all those families who’ve lost loved ones, all those mothers and children who have perished and civilians who had no reason to be put through what has transpired over the last two years.

This will be an ongoing effort of not only the United States, but of, I think, the international community to support and ensure that, again, human rights accountability is delivered and that there’s a way forward that brings, again, a lasting peace.

So thank you, Jennifer, for that question.  And thank you, all of you, for your time and your interest.  I do hope that the media will soon be able to report to the world what has happened.  This has been a tragic episode.  We hope we’re seeing the beginnings of a true end to this conflict.  The United States remains committed to doing its part in support of the African Union, in support of the Government of Ethiopia, and Tigray, and working together with not only the panel members but also the governments of South Africa and Kenya and others in the region who are very focused in wanting to make sure that this succeeds.

But we’re under no illusion; the work remains.  There will be difficult times ahead, but at least in the early days of at least two back-to-back agreements, we are seeing the parties starting to take the steps that they’ve committed to taking.  And we will continue to do our part, the United States diplomatically, to support those efforts.

I don’t know if that’s a wrap, but probably pretty close to it.  I look forward to seeing some of you in Washington at some point when we get back.

MODERATOR:  Great.  Thank you so much, sir, for being so generous with your time.  Thank you so much to our callers for dialing in this afternoon.  That does conclude today’s call, and as a reminder, today’s call was on background, attributable to a senior State Department official.  It has been embargoed until the conclusion of the call, which of course is now.  So thank you again to everyone for joining us, and have a great rest of your day.



Martin Plaut

Nov 7

Ethiopia's senior negotiator, Redwan Hussien, has given a public briefing on how the cessation of hostilities will roll out.

You can find it here.

Some of the points he made were well know. What follows is not verbatim and needs to be checked against delivery.

·        Only one national defence force

·        Restoring Constitutional order

·        Stop fighting immediately and permanently

·        End hostile propaganda

·        ENDF will enter Mekelle

·        Open channel of communication between senior commanders

·        Disarmament of Tigrayan military

·        TPLF will respect authority of Federal Government to deploy forces and law and order

·        External relations only via the federal authorities

·        Restoring services and aid

At 9:58 he states: "That the ENDF shall safeguard all of Ethiopia's international borders including air space. Because during the conflict we faced on both sides in the air and on the ground that our territorial integrity and borders were violated. We are busy fighting each other……that paved the way for a third party to undermine us. So the only way we save the country was to avoid such opportunity for a third party to undermine us." (unnamed)

The federal government will take charge of Federal Institutions - airports, airstrips, universities. Government must have easy control and access.

Elections in Tigray to an interim administration which must be inclusive. Accepts that there are many parties in Tigray. Accepts that the TPLF can stand, but not be armed.

"When we say disarm TPLF we are not denying Tigray right for a regional police/militia. Tigray can have arms, but the Regional Government, not the party."

Accountability: some atrocities simply cannot be forgotten. At the same time we need forgiveness and healing. Communal discussions are needed.

Next steps:

·        Open channel of communications between commanders.

·        Commanders must meet and discuss how to resolve issues - they will meet in Nairobi on Monday.

·        Timetable for TPLF to hand over heavy weapons to our army. Light weapons will remain and handed over to a transitional administration in Tigray and then a Tigray administration.

·        Re-integration of armed forces.

·        Publicise the agreement.

·        All losses - colossal damage - weakened all of Ethiopia. We will rebuild Afar and Amhara region as well as of course Tigray region.

·        It will require nearly US$20 billion to rebuild health facilities, educational facilities roads etc.

We are aware that there will be many disgruntled groups who will not welcome the agreement. But now we are in continuous communications with the Tigrayans and will address any hiccups in the agreement. We are re-connecting telecoms and electricity. We will do this rapidly.

The government has begun supplying aid and equipment, but it is still risky to allow flights until agreed by the commanders. "There may also be a third party which may not be interested in this peace process."

Source: Borkena

Ethiopian Defense Chief, TPLF rebel military leaders to meet in Nairobi 

November 5, 2022

Ethiopian News _ rebel military Redwan Hussien , middle, briefing diplomatic community in Addis Ababa on November 5, 2022 (Photo : Public Domain)

Ethiopian Defense Force Chief of Staff, Field Marshal Berhanu Jula, and TPLF rebels military leader, Tadesse Worede, will be meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, on Monday.

Redwan Hussien, Security Advisor to the Prime Minister and who led the Ethiopian Delegation at the peace talk in South Africa, briefed members of the diplomatic community in Addis Ababa. 

The brief focused on the outcome of the peace talk, the agreement that was reached, and its implementation.

According to Mr. Redwan, the two military leaders already had a phone conversation after the agreement was announced. 

Their next meeting in person is expected to discuss ways of disarming the TPLF combatants as per the agreement reached in South Africa. It is unclear why it is taking place in Kenya when the two leaders could meet in Ethiopia. Also unclear is whether the United States will attend their meeting as an “observer.” 

It was on November 2 that the Ethiopian government and the TPLF rebels reached an agreement, in South Africa, that ended the two years of bloody war. 

The rebel groups renounced their claim of government power as “Government of Tigray” and the Tigray region is to be under transitional administration until the regional election is organized by the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia. 

The rebels also agreed to the principle of a single national defense force in the country and recognized the constitutional rights of the National Defense Force to be deployed anywhere in the Tigray region of Ethiopia. 

Mekelle city, seat of the regional government, is to be under the Federal forces with immediate effect. 

Ethnic Tigray activists based in the Diaspora are rejecting the agreement and putting pressure on the TPLF. On the other hand, Ethiopians, including in the Tigray region, are saying that they are relieved that the agreement ended the war. 

The Ethiopian government has embarked on efforts to restore services in the region and planning reconstruction of  infrastructures damaged during the war. 


Ethiopia Tigray Peace Agreement






Agreeing to peacefully resolve the violent conflict that erupted on November 3, 2020, in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia in a manner consistent with the Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia;

Recognizing the destructive consequence of the conflict between the two Parties on human lives and livelihoods;

Affirming that political problems can only be sustainably resolved through political means;

Reiterating the Parties’ commitment to the African Union’s Agenda of Silencing the Guns by 2030, consistent with the spirit of ‘African solutions to African problems;

Resolved to find a lasting and comprehensive solution to the conflict; including restoration of constitutional order in the Tigray region;

Convinced of the need to agree upon the terms for the permanent cessation of hostilities and modalities for the peaceful settlement of all political differences and disputes;

Determined to seek a peaceful and lasting solution to the crisis within a framework of the permanent cessation of hostilities where a monitoring and verification mechanism shall be put in place to monitor compliance;

Recognising the efforts to bring a peaceful resolution to the crisis by the African Union, the African Union High-Level Panel led by His Excellency former President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria, supported by His Excellency former President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, and Her Excellency Dr. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, former Deputy President of South Africa, as well as the Republic of South Africa for graciously hosting the Peace Talks, and the observers for their support;

Mindful of the desire of the people of Ethiopia to live in peace and dignity in an inclusive democratic society based on justice, equality, respect for human rights, and the rule of law;

The Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (the Government) and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (the TPLF) (together referred to as the Parties) agree to the following terms;

Article 1 – Objectives

The objectives of this Agreement are to:

  1. Reach an immediate and Permanent Cessation of Hostilities with a view to silencing the Guns and creating a conducive environment and laying the foundation for sustainable peace;
  2. Restore the constitutional order disrupted due to the conflict in the Tigray Region;
  3. Reject violence as a method of resolving political differences;
  4. Guarantee security for all;
  5. Ensure a lasting settlement of the conflict;
  6. Provide a framework for addressing matters arising out of the conflict;
  7. Provide a framework to ensure accountability for matters arising out of the conflict;
  8. Foster reconciliation and the rehabilitation of social bonds;
  9. Facilitate economic recovery and reconstruction;
  10. Commit to addressing the underlying political differences;
  11. Provide a framework for monitoring and verification of the implementation of the Agreement.

Article 2 – Principles Underpinning the Permanent Cessation of Hostilities

The Parties shall be guided by the following principles:

  1. Respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and unity of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE);
    1. Legality and respect for constitutional norms and principles enshrined in the FDRE Constitution;
    1. Respect for fundamental human rights and democratic norms and principles;
    1. Protection of civilians;
  • Respect for the African Charter on Democracy, Elections, and Governance;
    • Accountability and justice in accordance with the FDRE Constitution and the AU Transitional Justice Policy Framework;
    • Unhindered humanitarian access to all in need of assistance;
    • The use of humanitarian aid exclusively for humanitarian purposes.
    • Reconciliation and rehabilitation;
    • Relief and Reconstruction;
    • Good faith commitment in the implementation of the Cessation of Hostilities and all subsequent stages of the peace process.

Article 3 – The Permanent Cessation of Hostilities

  1. The Parties commit to and declare an immediate and Permanent Cessation of Hostilities, and undertake to disengage forces or armed groups under their control;
  2. This Permanent Cessation of all forms of hostilities shall include, among others; the cessation of overt and covert acts of violence; laying of mines; sabotage; airstrikes; direct or indirect acts of violence; and subversion or use of proxies to destabilize the other party or collusion with any external force hostile to either party;
  3. The Permanent Cessation of hostilities shall include the cessation of all forms of hostile propaganda, rhetoric, and hate speech;
  4. The Permanent Cessation of Hostilities shall pave the way for the restoration of the constitutional order in the Tigray Region and political dialogue between the Parties;
  5. The Parties agree to restore the presence of federal authority in Mekelle in order to create a conducive environment for the resumption of public services in the region as well as to ensure the safety of the inhabitants of the city. To this effect, the Parties agree that the ENDF and other relevant Federal Institutions shall have an expeditious, smooth, peaceful, and coordinated entry into Mekelle, which shall be facilitated through the open communication channel to be established between the senior commanders of the Parties as per Article 6 (c) of this Agreement.

Article 4 – Protection of Civilians

  1. The Parties shall protect the human rights of the civilian population and commit to upholding applicable international humanitarian law instruments to which Ethiopia is a party;
  2. The Parties shall, in particular, condemn any act of sexual and gender-based violence, any act of violence against children, girls, women and the elderly, including recruitment and conscription of child soldiers, and support family reunification.

Article 5 – Humanitarian Access

  1. The Government of FDRE shall expedite the provision of humanitarian aid in collaboration with humanitarian agencies taking into account the specific needs of vulnerable groups including women, children and the elderly; The Parties shall cooperate to this effect;
  2. The Parties undertake to cooperate among themselves and with the relevant humanitarian agencies to assist in reuniting families;
  3. The Government of FDRE undertakes to facilitate the return and reintegration of internally displaced persons and refugees, whenever the security situation permits;
  4. The Parties shall ensure that humanitarian aid is used only for humanitarian purposes.

Article 6 – Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration (DDR)

The Parties:

  1. Agree and recognize that the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia has only one defence force;
    1. Shall design and implement a comprehensive DDR program for TPLF Combatants consistent with the Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia;
    1. Agree that within 24 hours of the signing of this Agreement, an open channel of communication between senior commanders of both sides will be established;
  • Agree to organize a meeting of senior commanders within 5 days from the signing of this Agreement to discuss and work out detailed modalities for disarmament for the TPLF combatants, taking into account the security situation on the ground;
    • Agree to undertake the disarmament of the heavy armaments of the TPLF combatants as a matter of priority based on a detailed schedule to be agreed upon between the senior commanders of the Parties. The disarmament activities in the schedule should be completed within ten days from the conclusion of the meeting of the senior commanders. The ten-day period could be extended based on the recommendation of the senior commanders, to be endorsed by the Parties.
    • Agree to finalize the overall disarmament of the TPLF combatants, including light weapons within 30 days from the signing of this Agreement;
    • Agree that the demobilization and reintegration plan will consider the Tigray Region’s law-and-order needs.

Article 7 – Confidence-building measures

  1. The TPLF shall:
  1. Respect the constitutional authority of the Federal Government, all constitutional bodies and organs of the Federal Government, including but not limited to the authority of the Federal Government to control all federal facilities, institutions, and the international boundaries of the country;
    1. Refrain from aiding and abetting, supporting, or collaborating with any armed or subversive group in any part of the country;
    1. Respect the constitutional mandate of the Federal Government to deploy the Ethiopian National Defence Force as well as federal security and law enforcement agencies to discharge their responsibilities under the Constitution, relevant laws, and regulations;
    1. Refrain from conscription, training, deployment, mobilization, or preparation for conflict and hostilities;
  • Halt any conduct that undermines the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ethiopia, including unconstitutional correspondence and relations with foreign powers;
    • Cease all attempts of bringing about an unconstitutional change of government.
  • The Government of the FDRE shall:
  1. Halt military operations targeting the TPLF combatants;
    1. Expedite and coordinate the restoration of essential services in the Tigray region within agreed timeframes;
    1. Facilitate the lifting of the terrorist designation of the TPLF by the House of

Peoples’ Representatives;

  • Mobilize and expedite humanitarian assistance for all those in need in the Tigray Region and other affected areas, and ensure unhindered humanitarian access.

Article 8 – International Boundaries and Federal Facilities

  1. The ENDF shall be deployed along the international boundaries of Ethiopia;
  2. The ENDF shall safeguard the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and security of the country from foreign incursion and ensure that there will be no provocation or incursion from either side of the border;
  3. The ENDF, the Federal Police, and other federal security organs shall take full and effective control of national airspace, aviation safety and security, and all federal facilities, installations, and major infrastructure such as airports and highways within the Tigray Region.

Article 9 – Restoration of Federal Authority in the Tigray Region and representation in federal institutions

  1. The Parties agree on the restoration of Federal Authority in the Tigray Region, including control of federal institutions and agencies;
  2. The Federal Government shall ensure and facilitate the representation of the Tigray region in the federal institutions, including the House of Federation, and House of

Peoples’ Representatives, in accordance with the FDRE Constitution and applicable laws.

Article 10 – Transitional Measures

  1. Within a week of the implementation of Article 7 (2) (c) and until elections for the Regional Council and the House of Peoples’ Representatives are held under the supervision of the Ethiopian National Election Board, the establishment of an inclusive Interim Regional Administration will be settled through political dialogue between the Parties;
  2. A week after the implementation of Article 7 (2) (c) the Parties shall start a political dialogue to find lasting solutions to the underlying political differences between them;
  3. The Government of Ethiopia shall implement a comprehensive national transitional justice policy aimed at accountability, ascertaining the truth, redress for victims, reconciliation, and healing, consistent with the Constitution of FDRE and the African Union Transitional Justice Policy Framework. The transitional justice policy shall be developed with inputs from all stakeholders, and civil society groups through public consultations and formal national policy-making processes.
  4. The Parties commit to resolving issues of contested areas in accordance with the Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

Article 11 – Monitoring, Verification, and Compliance

  1. The Parties agree to institute a monitoring, verification, and compliance mechanism for the effective implementation of the Permanent Cessation of Hostilities. For this purpose, the Parties agree to establish a Joint Committee comprising a representative from each party, a representative from IGAD and chaired by the African Union through the High-Level Panel. The Joint Committee shall be assisted by a team of African Experts;
  2. The AU, through the High-Level Panel, shall appoint a team of African experts to monitor the implementation of the permanent cessation of hostilities agreed upon under Article 3 of this Agreement. The Parties shall appoint one expert each to work with the team of African Experts;
  • The AU, through the High-Level Panel shall consult with the Parties regarding the terms of reference and the profile of the Experts;
  • The specific functions of the experts, including those with a military background, shall be agreed upon between the Parties and the AU, through the High-Level Panel;
  • The number of experts shall not exceed ten (10). If additional experts are needed, this shall be agreed upon with the Parties;
  • The duration of the mandate of the experts shall be six months from the date the experts are deployed. This period could be extended upon agreement with the Parties;
  • The AU, through the High-Level Panel may, in agreement with the Parties, augment the work of the experts with satellite imagery;
  • Whenever the team of experts finds instances of violation of the cessation of hostilities, they will inform the concerned party to take immediate measures to rectify the violation;
  • They will also inform the other party and Joint Committee of any communication under the preceding sub-article. If the violation is not rectified within 24 hours, the AU, through the High-Level Panel will convene the Joint Committee to resolve the problem.

Article 12 – Good Faith Implementation

  1. The Parties undertake to implement this Agreement in good faith and to refrain from any action that undermines and/or is inconsistent with the spirit and letter of this Cessation of Hostilities;
  2. The Parties shall promote the objectives of the Cessation of Hostilities.

Article 13 – Joint Statement and communications

  1. The Parties shall issue a joint statement on the importance of this Agreement and their joint commitment to work towards peace and stability in the country;
  2. The Parties commit not to make any unilateral statement, in any form, that could undermine this Agreement;
  3. All public statements, in any form, by the Parties shall support the Agreement and prepare the ground for implementation.

Article 14 – Effective Date

This Agreement shall come into effect at 00:00 hours East Africa Time (EAT) on 3rd November 2022.

Article 15 – Amendments to this Agreement

This Agreement may be amended by mutual consent of the Parties, which shall be in writing and signed by the Parties.

Done at Pretoria, the Republic of South Africa on 2nd November 2022.

For the Government of the FDRE                                  For the Tigray People’s Liberation Front

His Excellency, Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson African Union Commission

His Excellency Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and AU High Representative for the Horn of Africa

His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta, former President of the Republic of Kenya (Panel Member)

Her Excellency Dr. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, former Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa (Panel Member)

Eritrea poses a real challenge to the UN system and the international community a UN expert said today, warning that the country’s human rights situation was deteriorating drastically.
“Eritrea was elected to serve in the UN Human Rights Council for the period 2022-2024. However, its continuous failure to fully cooperate with his mandate and implement the recommendations of human rights bodies calls the credibility and integrity of the entire UN human rights system into question,” said Mohamed Abdelsalam Babiker, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea, in a report to the General Assembly.

Source: UN Human Rights Commission

No end in sight: International community continues to fail Eritreans says UN Expert
27 October 2022

NEW YORK (27 October 2022) – Eritrea poses a real challenge to the UN system and the international community a UN expert said today, warning that the country’s human rights situation was deteriorating drastically.
“Eritrea was elected to serve in the UN Human Rights Council for the period 2022-2024. However, its continuous failure to fully cooperate with his mandate and implement the recommendations of human rights bodies calls the credibility and integrity of the entire UN human rights system into question,” said Mohamed Abdelsalam Babiker, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea, in a report to the General Assembly.

“The intensification of the armed conflict in Tigray, the de facto blockade by Eritrean forces, secret places of torture called “villas” and the forced indefinite national conscription, all contribute to violations of human rights in Eritrea,” the Special Rapporteur said.

The expert made note of the fact that Eritrea had used its Human Rights Council membership to oppose international scrutiny over violations in the Tigray Region and voted against the establishment of an international commission of experts to investigate allegations of human rights and humanitarian law violations in Ethiopia.

Eritrea has been fighting alongside Ethiopia’s central government troops since the civil war broke out in Tigray in late 2020.

Babiker’s report to the General Assembly also noted that Eritrean journalists, political opponents and disappeared persons had been detained in the country for more than 20 years. “They are the longest detained persons in the world, languishing in jails and incommunicado detentions,” the Special Rapporteur said. December 2022 will mark 10 years since the arrest of Ciham Ali Abdu, an American-Eritrean child who had been held incommunicado since the age of 15. According to the UN expert, there had been a recent and worrying uptick in arbitrary arrests and detentions against clergymen in the country.

“The Government of Eritrea should release children, political prisoners, hundreds of disappeared persons and those imprisoned for their religious beliefs and allow all Eritreans to exercise their right to freedom of religion,” the UN expert said.

The Special Rapporteur said he had received information that people from the Afar region of Eritrea were being denied access to asylum procedures especially at the Asayita refugee camp in Ethiopia.

“Immediate action is imperative to protect refugees and other vulnerable populations. Humanitarian actors face difficulties operating in Tigray due to the complex security situation and lack of access, impacting humanitarian delivery to refugees,” he said.


In September 2020, the Human Rights Council appointed Dr. Mohamed Abdelsalam Babiker of Sudan as Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea. Dr. Babiker is an Associate Professor of International Law at the University of Khartoum and founding Director of its Human Rights Centre. He is also a practicing lawyer, has conducted international investigations in the Horn of Africa on human rights and international humanitarian law and has published extensively.

The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organisation and serve in their individual capacity.


Source: Senate Foreign Relations Committee

Risch, Merkley, Menendez, Colleagues Urge Cessation of Hostilities in Ethiopia Ahead of Peace Talks in South Africa

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, along with Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), and Mitt Romney (R-Utah), sent a letter to Ethiopia’s prime minister ahead of planned peace talks led by the African Union set to begin tomorrow. In their bipartisan letter, the senators welcome the government of Ethiopia’s decision to participate in peace talks in South Africa and urge a cessation of hostilities and unfettered humanitarian access ahead of, and for the duration of, the negotiations. 

“The surge of violence in the last few weeks is the latest tragic chapter in a war that has had a devastating human toll,” wrote the senators. “Since the start of the conflict in November 2020, an estimated 2.5 million civilians have been displaced, and approximately 500,000 killed.” 

The senators go on to note how the collapse of the five-month humanitarian truce halted crucial aid from being delivered to 5.2 million people in need – including large numbers of women and children. In August, the United Nations warned that one out of every three Tigrayan children under the age of five in northern Ethiopia is acutely malnourished. Throughout Ethiopia, 20 million people are food insecure. 

“Too many lives have already been lost in this conflict, and in conflict throughout the country. We are hopeful that the AU-led talks will signal an end to the violence that has ravaged northern Ethiopia for two years and pave the way for holding those responsible for human rights abuses and atrocities to account. A peaceful resolution to the conflict is imperative and we urge you to facilitate this critical step toward peace by immediately ceasing hostilities,” they concluded. 

Full text of the letter can be found below:

Dear Prime Minister Abiy,

We welcome the Government of Ethiopia’s decision to participate in the upcoming peace talks in South Africa, led by the African Union. We strongly urge all parties involved in the fighting to immediately cease hostilities, including the withdrawal of the Eritrean Defense Forces from northern Ethiopia, and allow unfettered humanitarian access to the entire region to ensure a successful outcome to negotiations.

The surge of violence in the last few weeks is the latest tragic chapter in a war that has had a devastating human toll. Since the start of the conflict in November 2020, an estimated 2.5 million civilians have been displaced, and approximately 500,000 killed.

The resumption of hostilities in northern Ethiopia is compounding an already dire humanitarian situation. With the collapse of the five-month humanitarian truce, crucial aid is no longer being delivered to the 5.2 million people in need in Tigray, including many women and children. The United Nations warned in August that one out of every three children under five in northern Ethiopia is acutely malnourished, while 20 million throughout Ethiopia are food insecure. These shocking numbers are certain to rise so long as fighting continues. Just last week, the UN Secretary General said the situation in Ethiopia is spiraling out of control.

Too many lives have already been lost in this conflict, and in conflict throughout the country. We are hopeful that the AU-led talks will signal an end to the violence that has ravaged northern Ethiopia for two years and pave the way for holding those responsible for human rights abuses and atrocities to account. A peaceful resolution to the conflict is imperative and we urge you to facilitate this critical step toward peace by immediately ceasing hostilities.



The Security Council will convene for a private meeting on the situation in Ethiopia under the “Peace and Security in Africa” agenda item. The meeting was requested by the A3 members of the Council (Gabon, Ghana and Kenya)…The AU Peace and Security Council is expected to convene tomorrow for a briefing ahead of the Security Council’s meeting to discuss the AU-led peace process for Ethiopia. Obasanjo is expected to brief.

Source: What’s in the Blue

Ethiopia: Private Meeting

Tomorrow morning (21 October), the Security Council will convene for a private meeting on the situation in Ethiopia under the “Peace and Security in Africa” agenda item. The meeting was requested by the A3 members of the Council (Gabon, Ghana and Kenya) on 17 October. The anticipated briefers are OCHA Director of Operations and Advocacy Ghada Eltahir Mudawi and AU High Representative for the Horn of Africa Olusegun Obasanjo. Ethiopia has been invited to participate in the meeting. The request by the A3 followed a 15 October statement by AU Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat expressing concern at the increased fighting in Tigray and calling for an immediate, unconditional ceasefire.

Hostilities in northern Ethiopia resumed on 24 August, bringing an end to a lull of roughly nine months in the fighting. The renewed fighting has contraposed Tigrayan regional forces against varying combinations of Ethiopian federal forces, Amhara regional forces, Amhara militias and Eritrean forces. After the resumption of hostilities, multiple frontlines rapidly opened in several areas near Tigray’s southern border, western Tigray, and in the north of Tigray. More recently, fighting has intensified in areas close to the Eritrean border in the north of Tigray and in areas in southern Tigray.

In a major development, amid a joint Ethiopian and Eritrean offensive in the north, the Ethiopian forces captured the strategic city of Shire on 17 October. On the same day, the federal government announced its objective to take control of “all airports, other federal facilities, and installations” in Tigray. In an 18 October statement, it claimed that, in addition to capturing Shire, it had taken control of the towns of Alamata and Korem in Tigray’s south.

Tomorrow’s meeting will be the second time Council members discuss the situation in Ethiopia since the resumption of hostilities on 24 August. The previous meeting took place on 28 September in an Informal Interactive Dialogue (IID) format. At that meeting, members were briefed by UN Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa Hanna Serwaa Tetteh. Although Obasanjo was also invited to brief, he did not attend the meeting. The Council last discussed the situation in Ethiopia in an open meeting on 8 November 2021. While some members would welcome another open meeting, the A3 have resisted any such request in the recent past. (For background, see our 28 September What’s in Blue story).

The AU Peace and Security Council is expected to convene tomorrow for a briefing ahead of the Security Council’s meeting to discuss the AU-led peace process for Ethiopia. Obasanjo is expected to brief.

Several key international interlocutors—including the UN, the AU, the EU and the US—have expressed concern at the recent escalation of violence and called for an immediate cessation of hostilities. Many of these statements also called on the Eritrean forces to withdraw from Ethiopia. Tomorrow, participants may echo these calls. For instance, in a 17 October press stakeout, Secretary-General António Guterres said that the situation was “spiralling out of control”, with indiscriminate attacks, including in residential areas, killing innocent people every day. He called for the protection of civilians, including humanitarian workers, for an immediate end to hostilities and the immediate withdrawal and disengagement of the Eritrean forces. The Permanent Representative of Ethiopia to the UN, Taye Atske-Selassie, reacted to the Secretary-General’s statement by saying that it was “unwarranted”, reflected “overly exaggerated assertions” and undermined the AU-led peace efforts—a position Ethiopia may reiterate tomorrow.

The protection of civilians is an expected key focus of tomorrow’s meeting. Airstrikes targeting Mekelle and other sites in Tigray have been reported since hostilities resumed, often resulting in the death and injury of civilians. Sources cited by Reuters have reported that more than 50 people were killed in a 4 October airstrike that hit a school, which was sheltering internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the northern Tigray town of Adi Daero. The news agency reported that the school was on a list of sites housing IDPs that the Office of the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Ethiopia sent to Ethiopia’s foreign ministry in January.

On 14 October, airstrikes targeting the town of Shire led to the death of an International Rescue Committee (IRC) member of staff and the injury of another IRC staff member. Two other civilians were reportedly killed and three were injured in the same incident. In an 18 October statement, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk said that the recent airstrikes in Tigray “risk seriously exacerbating the already devastating impact of hostilities on civilians”. He expressed concern at the “significant risk of escalation in light of continued mass mobilisation of soldiers and fighters by various parties to the conflict”, adding that “indiscriminate attacks or attacks deliberately targeting civilians or civilian objects amount to war crimes”. In this regard, Human Rights Watch recently urged the Security Council, as well as the EU and the US, to “use the appropriate tools, including targeted sanctions and an arms embargo, to protect civilians at risk”. At tomorrow’s meeting, several members may share their views regarding the role that the Security Council should play in future in the context of the conflict and its resolution. Some members may argue for a strengthened role for the Council.

Tomorrow, members may condemn these incidents, underscore that international humanitarian law prohibits indiscriminate attacks, and emphasise the importance of protecting civilians—including humanitarian workers—and civilian infrastructures during armed conflict.

Mudawi is likely to provide an update on the humanitarian situation and describe the status of aid delivery to the northern Ethiopian regions of Tigray, Amhara and Afar. The Secretary-General noted in his 17 October stakeout that aid deliveries to Tigray have been suspended for more than seven weeks, adding that assistance to Amhara and Afar “has also been disrupted”. On 18 October, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General Stéphane Dujarric also expressed concern about reports “of possible mass movements of people due to the fighting” in Shire.

In an 18 October statement, the Ethiopian government said that it was “carrying out the necessary preparations” to deliver humanitarian aid through the areas that have come under the Ethiopian forces’ control. The following day, Atske-Selassie said that aid convoys were “making their way to Tigray”. At the time of writing, these reports have yet to be confirmed. Tomorrow, Council members are expected to underscore the urgency of granting unimpeded humanitarian access to all people in need and may seek further information regarding the announcements on aid delivery by the Ethiopian authorities.

Members are likely to seek an update from the Obasanjo on efforts by the AU, the UN and other key international interlocutors to bring the federal and regional authorities to the negotiating table. AU-brokered peace talks were supposed to take place on 8 October in South Africa and were to be facilitated by an expanded team of mediators led by Obasanjo, supported by former Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and former South African Deputy President and former Under-Secretary-General and UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. However, the talks were postponed. While a formal announcement regarding a new date for the talks has apparently not been made, according to a 20 October tweet by National Security Adviser to the Ethiopian Prime Minister Redwan Hussein, the peace talks are now scheduled to be held in South Africa on 24 October.

On 7 October, the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) extended the mandate of the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia (ICHREE) for one year. Among the Security Council members who are also members of the HRC, China, Gabon, India, and the United Arab Emirates voted against extending the ICHREE’s mandate, while Brazil, France, Mexico, the UK, and the US voted in favour. (The ICHREE was established by the HRC in December 2021, with a mandate to investigate violations and abuses of international human rights, humanitarian and refugee law committed by all conflict parties in Ethiopia since 3 November 2020.) Ethiopia has opposed the ICHREE since its creation.

In September, an ICHREE report said that war crimes, including rape and sexual violence, have been committed by Ethiopian, Eritrean and Tigrayan forces. During the Security Council’s annual open debate on Women, Peace and Security today (20 October), several Council members referred to conflict-related sexual violence in northern Ethiopia, with the US citing the ICHREE’s findings. The ICHREE also found evidence of the Ethiopian forces “intentionally using starvation of civilians as a method of warfare”, among other violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, and it has recommended that the Security Council place the situation in Ethiopia on its agenda. Tomorrow, members may reiterate concerns about such violations being committed in the context of the conflict and call for accountability.


Source: Reuters

Woman walks past the rubble of a building damaged by fighting in the town of Shire, Tigray regionA woman walks past the rubble of a building damaged by fighting in the town of Shire, Tigray region, Ethiopia, March 17, 2021. Picture taken March 17, 2021. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

NAIROBI, Oct 17 (Reuters) – Ethiopian government forces and their allies on Monday captured Shire, one of the biggest cities in the northern region of Tigray, from regional forces, two diplomatic and humanitarian sources said.

The federal government and allied forces, which include neighbouring Eritrea’s military, have been fighting Tigray forces on and off since late 2020.

The conflict has killed thousands of civilians, uprooted millions and left hundreds of thousands now facing possible famine.

Villa Melotti in Massawa was a magnificent home owned by Italian citizens. The villa was unique in every detail of its architecture.

The Melotti family had made their money from producing beer. The famous Melotti beer is still brewed and enjoyed in Eritrea, but now under the “Asmara beer” label, while using the Melotti logo and caps.

The Melotti villa sheltered many Eritrean fighters during the battle of Massawa in 1991.

The villa was damaged by the air raids and the family wanted to restore it. But they could not obtain the necessary permits to do the work after independence arrived.

Unable to restore the villa the Melotti family agreed to sell it to the Eritrean government.

The government never paid the agreed sum and after years demolished the villa, rendering the area a vacant lot that was automatically owned by the government, in accordance with the 1994 Land Proclamation.

And so its ruins remain – a sad testament to the vandalism by Eritrea’s current rulers.

In 2006 another whim of the dictator who commands Eritrea with an iron fist. Another slap in the face of Italy. The bulldozers of the army razed one of the most beautiful residences in Africa to the ground, Villa Melotti, also known as the Cyprea, built by the architect Luigi Vietti in the 1960s. A splendid example of Mediterranean architecture nestled on the Red Sea coast, in front of one of the most evocative views of the black continent, in Massawa, the Eritrean port city declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. In its place, tourist villas will be built and an Italian operator, Renato Cialona, ​​has already visited the promontory, now an orphan of its most beautiful jewel.

Villa Melotti was wanted by Mrs. Emma, ​​a charming and energetic woman who arrived in Eritrea in 1940 to marry her boyfriend, Luigi Melotti, founder of the Melotti Brewery. In 1946 Melotti died and shortly afterwards his brother was also killed in an ambush by the shifta, armed gangs paid by the British to hit the Italians. The Melotti family, like the others from our country, was committed to defending the positions of those who wanted an independent Eritrea, perhaps after a few years of Italian protectorate. London and Washington, on the other hand, were pushing for an organic connection with Ethiopia, despite knowing that the enormous differences between the two countries – the first the most industrialized in all of Africa (after South Africa),

MASSAUA 20When her husband dies, Mrs. Emma does not yield to the advice of those who invite her to leave and abandon everything.

She remained in Eritrea and took over the family business, the liquor factory, the glass factory and the brewery that made her famous throughout East Africa. Melotti Beer is sold not only in Eritrea, but also in the nearby British colonies. The lady accumulates a great fortune but she has a dream: to leave to the country of her adoption (Eritrea which she feels is her new homeland) something important that can somehow enrich it and can be preserved over time. In short, a monumental work. And so he calls on the shores of the Red Sea the most famous and appreciated architect of the moment, the one who “invented” the Costa Smeralda, with the fairytale villa of Agà Khan, which embellished Cortina d’Ampezzo, building the houses of holiday of the Barilla, the Borletti, the Tronchetti Provera, the Marzotto families.

The Italian upper class in the 1960s passed entirely through Vietti’s studio. Mrs. Emma convinces the architect to come to Massawa and he falls in love with the place. He draws one of his splendid constructions of him: the Cyprea. The works began in 1964 and lasted almost two years. The materials are all brought from Italy. The tiles for the floors and bathrooms from Sardinia, the windows and furniture, designed by the same architect, from Brianza. To embrace the view of the sea Vietti creates three immense windows, 15 meters, inserted in round arches. Specialized workers also come from Italy to assemble the crystals. The swimming pool enters the huge hall, as if it were an extension of the sea. From the garden of the villa you can dive directly into the crystalline and coral water of the Red Sea, inhabited by colorful tropical fish.MASSAUA 21

In those years illustrious guests pass by: Giulio Andreotti, Giancarlo Pajetta and Oriana Fallaci, who then, on other political shores, had criticized in an article the splendor and luxury of that residence (fantasizing, among other things, that the guests did the swimming in the pool filled with champagne). Then comes the civil war and in 1990 Massawa is conquered by the independence guerrillas. Mrs. Emma opens the doors of her Cyprea to refugees fleeing the bombing. A thousand people camp out in the garden and the cellars become formidable shelters where women, children and wounded militiamen find welcome. The hall becomes the guerrilla headquarters. It is the rebels who bring the lady to safety in Sudan, with a daring journey on the back of a camel.

Text taken from an article by Massimo A. Alberizzi (Corriere della Sera)

My passion is photography. Through the lens the world looks different, the stories of ordinary women and men seem different. There is a time to travel and to know and there is a time to remember. The camera is the tool that seals the memories making our stories eternal.
  • Via Fonte Secondo, 13 – 50023 Impruneta – Florence
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • 3355301083

“We also condemn the escalating involvement of Eritrean military forces in northern Ethiopia.  We call on Eritrean forces to cease their military operations and withdraw from northern Ethiopia.  All foreign actors should cease actions that fuel this conflict.”

We, Australia, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States, are profoundly concerned by the escalation of the ongoing conflict and humanitarian crisis in northern Ethiopia.  We call on the Government of Ethiopia and the Tigray regional authorities to immediately halt their military offensives, agree to a cessation of hostilities, allow for unhindered and sustained humanitarian access, and pursue a negotiated settlement through peace talks under an African Union-led process.  We also condemn the escalating involvement of Eritrean military forces in northern Ethiopia.  We call on Eritrean forces to cease their military operations and withdraw from northern Ethiopia.  All foreign actors should cease actions that fuel this conflict.

Multiple reports, including the joint investigation report of the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission/Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the recent report of the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia (ICHREE), have documented human rights abuses committed by Ethiopian and Eritrean government forces, Tigrayan forces, and other armed actors, such as Fano militia, since the start of the conflict in November 2020.  Human rights abuses documented in these reports include unlawful killings, physical abuse, and gender-based violence.  We are deeply concerned by the ICHREE’s finding that there are reasonable grounds to believe that starvation of a civilian population has been used as a method of warfare.  The resumption of fighting in northern Ethiopia raises a high risk of further human rights violations and abuses.

We denounce any and all violence against civilians.  We call on the parties to recognize there is no military solution to the conflict, and we call on the Government of Ethiopia and the Tigray regional authorities to participate in African Union-led talks aimed at helping Ethiopia achieve a lasting peace.  Any durable solution must include accountability for human rights abuses and violations.  We also call on all parties to allow unhindered humanitarian access, ensure the safety and security of humanitarian workers, and cooperate with, and facilitate access for, international human rights monitors.

Harnnet Media - ሓርነት ሚድያ

EPDP Magazines