Ethiopia: Humanitarian Access Situation Report, June - July 2019

This report is produced by OCHA Ethiopia in collaboration with humanitarian partners. It covers the period June - July 2019. The next report will be issued around September - October 2019.

OVERVIEW

• In June - July, Ethiopia experienced an attempted government overthrow in Amhara, socio-political unrest in Sidama (SNNPR), and a rise in security incidents in Southwestern Oromia and Gambella. The quality of access declined, limiting assistance to people in need, against a backdrop of massive government-led returns of IDP to areas of origin.

• Hostilities between Ethiopian Defense Forces (EDF) and Unidentified Armed Groups (UAGs) as well as inter-ethnic, remained the main access obstacle, with 197 incidents (out of 276), mostly in Southwestern Oromia (110). The Wellegas, West Guji (Oromia), and Gambella, were the most insecure areas for aid workers.

• In June, conflict in the Wellegas scaled up, with explosive devices attacks causing civilian casualties in urban centres. In July, violence intensified in Southern Oromia and border areas with Somali. Ethnic violence in Gambella reached critical levels, with 36 incidents involving refugees and host communities, 19 in Gambella town.

• The IDP return operation constrained IDP rights, prompting cases of involuntary returns, limiting access to aid with the dismantling of previous sites, and the denying of partners’ access to IDPs who did not return/ re-displaced. In some areas, partners lacked safe and unimpeded access to IDPs.

• In West Wellega, in June, thousands of IDPs were returned to Kamashi zone (BGR), many moved back to West Wellega in July, citing insecurity and lack of assistance. In Nedjo, partners have reported cases of IDPs resorting to unacceptable copying mechanisms such as transactional sex and child trafficking due to lack of assistance.

• The poor state of roads during the rainy season has cut access to parts of Kamashi and East Wellega. Impassable roads have also affected operations in Gedeo (SNNPR), Bale and West Guji (Oromia), Dawaa and Liban (Somali region), and Afar Zone 3 (Gabi Rasu).

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