Tigrayan Authorities Accuse Eritrean Troops Of Launching Offensive In Ethiopia

Tigrayan authorities on Tuesday accused Eritrean troops of launching a full-scale offensive along the country’s border with northern Ethiopia as fighting renewed last month ending a five-month truce, reported The Africa News.

Fighting first broke out in November 2020 after a massive fall-out between Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which controls the region. Eritrea also sent its forces in support of the Ethiopian military, but it reportedly withdrew most of its troops last year.

Prime Minister Abiy’s government accuses the TPLF of trying to reassert Tigrayan dominance over Ethiopia, while The TPLF accuses Abiy of over-centralizing power and oppressing Tigrayans.

Thousands of people have been killed and millions have been displaced in the conflict so far.

On Tuesday, Tigrayan spokesman Getachew Reda said the Eritreans troops are fighting alongside Ethiopian federal forces, including commando units, and allied militia.

“Eritrea is deploying its entire army as well as reservists. Our forces are heroically defending their positions,” Reda wrote on Twitter.

The Tigrayan spokesman said Ethiopian troops and special forces from the Amhara region to the south had also joined the offensive.

A humanitarian worker in the northern Ethiopian town of Adigrat said that Eritrean forces were shelling the surrounding areas.

The U.S. envoy to the Horn of Africa Mike Hammer told reporters that the US had been tracking Eritrean troop movements across the border.

“They’re extremely concerning and we condemn it. The presence of Eritrean troops in Ethiopia only serves to complicate matters, and inflame an already tragic situation,” he said.

Earlier this month, Tigrayan forces said they were ready for a ceasefire and would accept an African Union-led peace process.

Eritrea’s entry into the Tigray war is feared to complicate any peace efforts between Tigrayan leaders and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy, who mended ties with Eritrea as soon as he rose to power in 2018.

Caroline Finnegan

A professionnal journalist for the past ten years, I cover global news and economic affairs for The Chief Observer.

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