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TPLF Accused the EDF of Attacking and Congolese Protest for the Expulsion of Ambassador Munyakazi

May 26 - June 1, 2022 | Issue 10 - AFRICOM

Francesca Fiore, AFRICOM Team

Manja Vitasovic, Editor; Jennifer Loy, Chief of Staff

Tigray, Ethiopia[1]

Date: May 30, 2022

Location: Shiraro, Tigray region, Ethiopia

Parties involved: Eritrean Defense Forces (EDF); Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF); Eritrean government; Tigrayan citizens; the United Nations (UN); Shiraro humanitarian organizations

The event: On Monday, the TPLF accused the EDF of attacking its troops in Shiraro. Local humanitarian organizations claimed that EDF bombardments, hitting 12 houses and a school housing displaced families, killed 1 child and injured 18 people. In March, Ethiopia declared a unilateral ceasefire to allow humanitarian organizations to operate safely in the Tigray region.[2]

Analysis & Implications:

  • The Eritrean government will likely justify EDF bombings as retaliation for previous TPLF attacks. The government will very likely attempt to delegitimize TPLF’s authority in the Tigray region by questioning the credibility of their accusations against the EDF. This would very likely fuel tensions between the TPLF and Eritrea, likely causing mutual attacks.

  • The UN will likely investigate Eritrea’s attack, very likely relying on the local humanitarian organizations’ assistance to collect evidence. The investigation will very likely determine whether the targeting of civilians was intentional, likely examining whether Eritrea used indiscriminate weapons during its attack. It will also likely result in increased international scrutiny of Eritrean attacks, likely questioning their compliance with international humanitarian law.

  • The attack will likely disrupt humanitarian operations in the Tigray region. Humanitarian organizations will likely redirect resources to building new camps for internally displaced persons and to engaging medical staff to care for the injured in the attack.

Date: May 30, 2022

Location: Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

Parties involved: M23 rebel group; Congolese protesters; Congolese army; Congolese government; Rwandan government; Rwandan President Paul Kagame; Rwandan Ambassador Juru Antoine Munyakazi; the United Nations (UN);

The event: On Monday, Congolese protesters called for the expulsion of Ambassador Munyakazi from Kinshasa because of Rwanda’s alleged support to the M23. The Congolese government accused Rwanda of supporting the M23 after last week’s clashes between the Congolese army and the M23 in North Kivu, at the border with Rwanda.[3]

Analysis & Implications:

  • The DRC’s accusations will almost certainly strain diplomatic relations with Rwanda. The Congolese and Rwandan armies will very unlikely cooperate in border protection. A lack of cooperation will very likely diminish security operations’ effectiveness against the M23 at the border between the two countries.

  • The DRC’s protests will very likely increase anti-Rwandan sentiment in the country. There is a roughly even chance that the protests will incite violence against Rwandan refugees in the DRC. An increase in violence against Rwandan refugees will almost certainly increase overall violence at DRC’s border with Rwanda, likely requiring additional security personnel deployment in the border region.

________________________________________________________________________ The Counterterrorism Group (CTG)

[2] Eritrean troops shell town in north Ethiopia - UN, Reuters, May 2022,

[3] Anti-Rwanda protest in DR Congo over alleged rebel “backing”, Al Jazeera, May 2022,



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