Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has announced the withdrawal of the Eritrean armed forces from the northern Ethiopian region of Tigray. Abiy said on Twitter today that he traveled to Asmara for talks with Eritrea’s President Isaias Afwerki. In the course of the talks, the government of Eritrea agreed to withdraw its troops from Ethiopia.
The Ethiopian armed forces would take over guarding the border areas „with immediate effect,“ Abiy said. The Ethiopian Ministry of Information has not yet responded to the request for comment.
Report: massacre of civilians
After weeks of denials, Abiy had admitted the presence of Eritrean troops in Tigray for the first time this week. Yesterday, the Ethiopian Commission on Human Rights (EHRC) published a report accusing Eritrean soldiers of being responsible for a massacre of more than a hundred civilians in the city of Aksum in Tigray. Abiy described attacks on the civilian population as „unacceptable“.
At the beginning of November, the Ethiopian troops began an offensive against the People’s Liberation Front TPLF, which ruled Tigray. A good three weeks later, Abiy announced the capture of the regional capital Mekele and the end of the military operation.
Around 60,000 people fled to neighboring Sudan before the violence in Tigray. Abiy, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019, has recently been under increasing pressure because of the conflict.