Ethiopia-Sudan Tensions: New skirmishes at the border on Saturday

Sudan’s military sent fresh military reinforcements to the border with Ethiopia, a day after Ethiopian troops launched cross-border attack, killing more than 20 Sudanese soldiers. Sudan’s army says it will confront Ethiopia’s attempt to thwart the “harvest season” at Fashaqa” (Somali Guardian, 28.11.2021).

Yet, again there is reports of Ethiopian army or affiliates crossing the border from the Western Tigray region at the Al-Fashaga region inside Sudan. The Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) where attacked yesterday and it’s happening yet again. This isn’t the first time, but there been skirmishes like this in the previous year in the same area.

Sudanese military repels a new cross-border attack by Ethiopian troops backed by Amhara militia near Malakawa area, 17km deep into Sudan border – Sudanese media reports.

Fighting lasted for several hrs. At least one Sudanese soldier reportedly killed, others wounded”

That’s why its hard to believe that the Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF) says this today to the press.

The Chief of Staff of the Ethiopian Army, Berhanu Gula, “Ethiopia does not want war with Sudan,” and we’ll solve border encroachments on Ethiopian territory through law and dialogue. What is happening now is an attempt by Sudan to invent a war between the two countries.” (28.11.2021).

There been further reports of an additional 33 wounded in the clash as well. Therefore, this has been bloody and devastating. What do know from reports of late, is that the Amhara Para-Military Group “Fano” and Eritrean Defence Force (EDF) have had battalions in the Western Tigray. Where they have also committed massacres in Humera area in November 2021. Therefore, these are soldiers and militia members who are willing to kill…

These has both in the past year crossed into this region and attacked on Sudanese soil. So, this isn’t the first nor the last time they will do this. As the tensions and the border dispute continues. This is far from over… and that shows the first clashes and skirmishes in the region by the parties happened in late December 2020 and we are in late November 2021. Therefore, this has been a prolonged conflict by the parties. While they have been unwilling to settle it. We know the Ethiopian government haven’t been willing and only had small-talks with the Sudanese government officials. Peace.

Security Council Press Statement on United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (15.10.2021)

The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Martin Kimani (Kenya):

The members of the Security Council heard a briefing by the Assistant Secretary-General for Africa in the Departments of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and Peace Operations on the sharp deterioration of the situation regarding the presence of the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) in Gok Machar, South Sudan.

The members of the Security Council expressed their grave concern over recent developments in Gok Machar, including threats to the safety and security of peacekeepers which resulted in the death of a peacekeeper from Ethiopia on 14 September 2021, undermining the ability of UNISFA to support the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism (JBVMM). The members of the Security Council noted that these recent threats followed the forced relocation, completed between 26 and 31 August 2021, of UNISFA troops and equipment from the JBVMM team site 11 in Safaha/Kiir Adem and team site 12 in As Sumayah/War Abar to the JBVMM Sector 1 Headquarters in Gok Machar due to the threats to the safety and security of peacekeepers.

The members of the Security Council reiterated their full support for UNISFA and expressed their continued concern that the full implementation of UNISFA’s mandate is being obstructed.

The members of the Security Council demanded the Government of South Sudan to facilitate the unimpeded implementation of UNISFA’s mandate, as described in resolution 2575 (2021), and provide full support to UNISFA’s personnel by removing any obstacles that hinder UNISFA’s work to protect civilians, including by ensuring the mission’s freedom of movement and by facilitating UNISFA’s provision of food, medicine and other supplies to its personnel.

The members of the Security Council also called on the Government of South Sudan to honour its obligations in accordance with resolutions 2518 (2020) and 2575 (2021) and under the Status of Forces Agreement with UNISFA.

The members of the Security Council underscored the important role of UNISFA and the JBVMM in support of achieving peace, security and stability in Abyei and the broader region, and urged the Government of South Sudan to intensify its mediation efforts with members of the local community in Gok Machar to reduce tensions and to provide for the redeployment of UNISFA personnel to team sites 11 and 12. The members further called on Sudan and South Sudan to convene a meeting of the Joint Political and Security Mechanism (JPSM) to address the existing challenges and facilitate the work of the JBVMM.

The members of the Security Council welcomed the continued cooperation between the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan, which is critical for the peace, security and stability in Abyei and the broader region. Recalling resolution 2575 (2021), they reiterated their support for the African Union, the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel and the United Nations Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa in mediating with the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan.

Ethiopia: Rising inflation [is it a result of the Law Enforcement Operation?]

In Ethiopia there been open warfare since November 2020. This is now seeing effects far away from the Tigray region. The truth is that warfare and conflicts cost. You pay for mercenaries, soldiers, food, shelter and heavy weaponry. All of that costs and implicates the economy. The spending have to go from somewhere and has to settled. This means certain other parts of the economy looses its value or gets less of investments. In which things gets scarce or get hit by the new demand. Since the Tripartite Alliance needs more supplies for their warfare.

Addis Fortune Reported on the 5th April 2021 this:

There appears little solace for consumers in Ethiopia, with the year-on-year headline inflation reaching at 20.6pc in March this year, a little over the nearly 20pc annual average last year. The largest increase in prices was seen in food items such as edible oil, fruit and vegetables and spice, according to a statement by the Ethiopian Statistics Agency. The consumer price index (CPI) for the month of March shows a 22pc jump compared to the same period last month. Non-food items such as fuel and energy, alcohol, tobacco and chat as well as transport, medical expense and construction materials have seen an increase in prices of 18.9pc” (Addis Fortune – ‘Headline Inflation Reaches 20.6pc on Year’, 05.04.2021).

This is the government excuse for the rising inflation:

ADDIS ABABA–The continuous demand-supply imbalance and ill-investment strategy of the former administration have resulted in the structural and worsening current inflation, so disclosed Planning and Development Commission. The Commission’s Deputy Commissioner with the rank of State Minister Nemera Gebeyehu (Ph.D) told The Ethiopan Press Agencey (EPA) that even though many people believe inflation is worsened after the reform, the reform measures taken by the government do minimize the inflation, but a lot remains to be done since it is structural driven from the ill-investment strategy of the former administration” (Dargie Kahsay – ‘Ethiopia: Previous Maladministration Takes Blame for Current Inflation – Commission’, 03.04.2021, The Ethiopian Herald).

We are clearly seeing here the effects of the mismanagement or priorities of the state. A steady war is costly and the price of that is on the citizens. That is why the prices are going up and the state will lack currency. The state will do whatever it can to continue supply and generate enough funds. Which in the end means more inflation and devalued currency, which will also means the citizens will get less for their money and imported goods will be more expensive. It is a vicious circle and a negative spiral. That this government is doing by its efforts as a Tripartite Alliance member and fighting on its own soil.

The Prosperity Party is also blaming the old EPRDF, which it was in coalition with and consolidated power from. The PP is practically not taking responsibility for the actions in office and only pushes it on the previous government. That is really rich. Just like all warfare is the TPLF to blame in Tigray. This is following a pattern and the excuses is getting old.

The PP should seriously be worried about the rate the inflation is going and what shocks this will have for the citizens. There is already videos reminiscent of the fuel crisis in 2015. This being leaked clips and statements of troubles getting fuel in Addis Ababa all week. That is a sign of what to come and costs of the war.

The Addis Ababa administration should be worried about this. The costs of war is coming forward now. Not only the loss of prestige with the Prime Minster and the image as a whole. The PP and the PM isn’t looking like reformers anymore, but as a warlords. They are not only brining destruction to the Region of Tigray, but also destroying the economy as a result. This will be carried for long and effects of the war will take a toll. We can just wonder about how many will pay the additional costs and struggle because of it. That is how these things goes. The elites and the one in-charge will not feel it, but the average citizen has to live with the new standard. They are paying the price for the inflation and have to collect whatever they can out of their currency. Peace.

Ethiopia: Press Release from the Tigrayan Nationalist Parties Forum on the Deteriorating Humanitarian crisis in Tigray (09.04.2021)

Ethiopia: Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) – Press Release (08.04.2021)

Ethiopia: The Finfinne Intercept leaked diplomatic cables of planned efforts to thwart international sanctions

All efforts must be made to use every means to stop another resolution on Ethiopia to be adopted by the House” (Finfinne Intercept – Briefing Note on the latest development in the Tigray Region, P: 6, 01.04.2021).

The Finfinne Intercept have dropped an intelligence document of what is sent to the authorities and state agencies. This is cables and other messages from the state to ensure their case is sufficiently told abroad. It is clear that the Addis Ababa government and Prosperity Party wants to block and stifle possible sanctions on itself.

The Finfinne Intercept described the leak like this: “A diplomatic cable leaked to FI shows Ethiopian authorities are anxious about possible sanctions from the US and the EU over their handling of the humanitarian crisis in Tigray. The internal memo also suggests Ethio-Eritrean relations may have hit a rough patch as a result of Ambassador Dina Mufti’s remarks about Eritrea’s independence” (Finfinne Intercept, 05.04.2021).

The Ethiopian government wants to ensure the state doesn’t get any punitive actions for what it has done to its own citizens. They want the Europeans and Americans lawmakers to not use their mechanisms to punish the Ethiopian regime who is overseeing the conflict and ordering the destruction of Tigray.

That is really evident by what is in the Briefing Note from Finfinne Intercept. This is maybe late, but important information, which should be public. This shows the intention of the Ethiopian counterparts. Where they are targeting the United States and European Union with direct plans to either water down legislation or stop the other from activating their mechanisms.

Pressure of US and US Legislators:

It is also important to note that there is push for another resolution on Ethiopia to be adopted by the House. The text was introduced by Congresswoman Karen Bass who serves in the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and Chairs the Sub Committee on Africa, Global Health, and Global Human Rights. The text calls on the United States Government to consider application of existing United States sanctions authority, including as provided for in the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, for gross violations of internationally recognized human rights” (…) “It is also absolutely critical to do the same in trying to water down the text introduced in the House and make sure that it reflects the significant progresses made recently” (Finfinne Intercept – Briefing Note on the latest development in the Tigray Region, P: 5-6, 01.04.2021).

Pressure on EU:

What High Representative Joseph Borell said in terms of the EU’s readiness to activate all its foreign policy tools against those responsible for human rights violations should be taken seriously and efforts should be made to stop the activation” (Finfinne Intercept – Briefing Note on the latest development in the Tigray Region, P: 10, 01.04.2021).

Just these small statements and sentences says enough. How the Ethiopian authorities plans to boil things down and stop international sanctions. These leaked cables clearly show their intentions and what sort of game-plan the Ethiopians have. They are not concealed here or in diplomatic language. What the reported leaks says, seems true as well. As the Ethiopian Embassies are “explaining” and “writing” statements to any reporting coming out about the conflict. Therefore, this FI Report is validated just by that alone.

As the final piece of text from there: “A greater coordination between and among our Embassies and Missions in Europe and America should be established to make every possible effort to explain the important steps taken on the ground to respond to the concerns raised by the US and the EU. Time is of the essence” ((Finfinne Intercept – Briefing Note on the latest development in the Tigray Region, P: 11, 01.04.2021).

This shows the deliberate actions and means, which the Ethiopian authorities goes by. They are ordered and told in cables to be active. To use their platforms to respond, which they do every single time. That is the coordinated efforts and proves it is planned. They are setting the agenda and also trying to undermine the reporting. Which isn’t of the nature and the mind of the ruler in Addis Ababa. That is why these cables are sent out in the first place.

That the FI – The Station leaked these cables and dropped it online. Will make it able for more people to see what extent the Ethiopian government goes through to undermine and stop others from acting on the crimes against humanity. The massacres, the starvation and all other efforts to win the guerrilla war in Tigray. That is deliberate act of the state and its now up in the open. A sort of game plan the state would have been preferred to be kept hidden. However, one civil servant or several wanted to be whistleblowers and dropped this for the whole world to see. Peace.

Ethiopia: Oromo Legacy Leadership and Advocacy Association – OLLAA Demands Investigation into Shawa Robit Massacre and Justice for Victims’ Families (07.04.2021)

Ethiopia-Sudan Tensions: Sudan requests UNISFA to kick-out Ethiopian Peacekeepers from Abyei

Since December 2020 the Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF), Amhara Paramilitary Group ‘Fano’ and Eritrean Defence Force (EDF) have all been spotted and attacked border points on Sudanese soil. They have gone after border points in and around Al-Fashqa region. The Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) have been reported to retake these and stationed more soldiers there.

Just to prove the levels of insincerity from Addis Ababa towards Khartoum. The Sudanese Authorities even intercepted illegal arms export to the rebel outfit of SPLM-N in Blue Nile State. That is what they have been doing and shows how sinister the Tripartite Alliance in Ethiopia is at this current stage. As well, as doing what they have been doing on the border of Sudan and trying to annex Sudanese land.

Clearly, the Sudanese has taken this seriously and sent their Rapid Support Force (RSF) – Desert Shield Force to the borders .They have sent the ones who has tormented Darfur for ages. These folks are the ones who they trust to stop the Tripartite Alliance on the border. That says a lot about their will to defend their borders.

Now the Sudanese has taken it a further step and escalating it further, which is only natural.

Sudan Foreign Minister Mariam Al-Mahdi stated this yesterday:

““Sudan has requested the United Nations to replace the Ethiopian troops present in the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNIFSA) with peacekeepers from other countries,” Mariam Al-Mahdi added.“It is not conceivable to accept Ethiopian forces deployed in the strategic depth of Sudan while the Ethiopian troops are massing on the eastern borders of Sudan,” she said. The minister said that Sudan is now reviewing its relations and cooperation agreements with Ethiopia but stressed that this will not affect the Ethiopian residing in Sudan including refugees” (Koang Pal Chang – ‘Sudan wants Ethiopian peacekeepers out of Abyei’ 07.04.2021, Eye Radio).

When Addis Ababa have been as insincere and been as violent on the border. When they have used all the various alliances to go and attack Sudan. It is only natural that the sovereign state of Sudan doesn’t trust Ethiopian soldiers on their soil. When they have attacked them, illegally armed rebels and been dishonest about their skirmishes as well.

The Ethiopian authorities is calling the neighbours their brothers, but they are coming with weapons and soldiers. That is why the Sudanese see it as a danger to have the Ethiopians as Peacekeepers. That says how much the Ethiopians has destroyed their credibility or trust. The distrust now is shattered and the Khartoum administration only see it fit to “kick them” out.

What will also happen with the changes of Peacekeepers means that the Ethiopian state will not get the profits or the foreign currency for the UN services in Abyei. That is the second price of this. Not only are they demoted and sent home. The Ethiopian state will also loose funds by this action. That is the double strike against Addis Ababa.

The Sudanese authorities are in the right here. How can someone who attacks you on the regular and makes reasons for you to deploy the RSF and more SAF brigades on the borders. A trusted ally to create peace in one of their states. That doesn’t make sense and is a sensible reason to kick Ethiopia out. Peace.

Ethiopia: Tigray – How many massacres are there?

The Embassy of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia is aware of a distressing video that has been circulating on social media over the last few weeks showing the alleged “massacre” of civilians in Mahbere Dego, Tigray. The aforementioned video is now the centre of recent reports by international media” (Embassy of Ethiopia, London – ‘Statement on the Alleged Massacre in Mahbere Dego, Tigray’ 03.04.2021).

Since the 4th November 2020 the Law Enforcement Operation came into full effect. With every drip drop of information coming through the grapevine. The more we see the hurt and pain, the suffering and the costs of lives. That the Tripartite alliance of armed forces are putting on the region.

The Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF), Eritrean Defence Force (EDF) and Amhara Paramilitary Group Fano is really assaulting and inflicting harm, which will take years to uncover and resolve. The sort of systemic destruction of a region and usage of force, which will be written about for years to come.

I have been seeing the massacres of Maikadra and Axum creating headlines. The reports and the horrific witness reports from these. However, it seems to be much worse and more atrocities that goes under the radar.

That is why I drop these words of enlightenment from Yosief Ghebrehiwet:

Despite all the efforts, the information is slowly but steadily filtering out of Tigray. Through words of mouth of witnesses, family members, relatives and images through pictures and videos, the true picture is emerging. So far, here are some of the villages, towns, cities and districts (in alphabetical order) where massacres, ranging from few individuals to dozens to over a hundred, have happened. I have compiled from social media:

Abiadi, Abraha-Atsbaha, Adiabun, Adidaero, Adigrat, Adihageray, Adihano, Adikeyih, Adinebried, Adiqeweylo, Adiaweshi Adwa, Agula’e, Ahferom, Ala’isa Alitena, Axum, Ba’eker, Beles, Bizet, Chercher, Dahwan, Dibdibo, Digum, Edagahamus, Endabaguna, Finariwa, Gebezya, Gijet, Guya, Halah, Hawzien, Hiwane, Hitsats, Humera, Koraro, Maikadra, Maitsebri, Mariam-Dengelat, Mekelle, Menji, Mekhoni, Nebelet, Negash, Rawyani, Raya, Seharti, Semema, Shire, Tembien, Tashi, Welkait, Werkamba, Wukro, Wushti-Gulti, Zalambesa, Zara, etc.

In all these areas, the massacres are being conducted by the Ethiopian army, Amhara forces, and Eritrean troops. The most horrendous massacres are being conducted by the latter two. Yet the world remains focused on Maikadra, where the consensus of the media seems to be that both parties are involved. But the latest one points the finger at Ethiopia: the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights suggests that evidence is pointing that Fano and Amhara militias conducted the massacre while the army stood by, allowing it. But even if the former happens to be true, the narrative that ‘both sides are to be blamed’ by the media is very deceptive, given that all the massacres in the rest of Tigray – amounting to thousands killed, at a minimum, and still counting – are being done by the tripartite partners. There is no sense of proportion in such reporting” (Yosief Ghebrehiwet – ‘The war in Tigray: Abiy, Isaias, and the Amhara elite’ 29.01.2021).

This shows the sinister side of the civil war in Tigray. When people calls for ethnic cleansing or genocide. They are speaking the truth. As there are now so many recorded massacres going on. It is so deliberately done and with such precision. That we cannot grasp the amounts of them and neither the amount of civilian casualties. There are so many unknown and unreported fatalities, where we don’t know or don’t have access to the full information. As it is hidden… though the amount of places and various scopes estimated killings in the massacres puts it into a huge figure of mortalities.

The atrocities and massacres have to be bloodstains on the Prime Minister Abiy’s legacy. It is a reflection of the despotic ruler Afwerki. While Fano will forever be aligned with these crimes of war. That is just the reality of it all.

What has been unleashed in Tigray is showing no bound and not stopping. The armed forces are continuing their brutality and its ending in the deaths of the innocent bystanders. The citizens who happened to be caught in the battles or be meeting the fury of vile invading troops. There is no mercy and only apparent death. They are only ensuring of more massacres and more fatalities to come.

That is what Addis Ababa and Asmara is giving Tigray at the moment. Peace.

Ethiopia: Ministry of Foreign Affairs – On G7 Foreign Ministers’ Statement on the situation in Tigray (03.04.2021)

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