Ethiopian Prime Minister says Eritrean troops to withdraw from Tigray

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Friday said Eritrea has agreed to withdraw its forces, days after he confirmed the presence of the neighbouring nation’s troops in the Tigray region for the first time.

Abiy said he discussed the matter with Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki during a visit to the capital Asmara, in a Friday statement he posted on Twitter.

Eritrea agreed to withdraw forces and Ethiopia’s military will take over guarding the border areas immediately, Abiy said.

Ethiopia launched a military offensive on its northern region of Tigray in November to diminish the power of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which rules the region and has been critical of the central government.

The government declared the conflict over in early December, although both the United Nations and United States say there continue to be reports of ongoing clashes among the parties.

Eritrea had justified the presence of its troops in the conflict by citing “a national security issue” because Ethiopian soldiers were fighting the TPLF in the border region, Abiy said on Tuesday.

Numerous political analysts have meanwhile said Eritrean soldiers have been involved in the conflict at the invitation of Abiy, in order to support the Ethiopian forces.

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International recently accused the Eritrean troops of serious human rights violations.

Source: GNA

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