Eritrea’s Role in Ethiopia’s Conflict and the Fate of Eritrean Refugees

Eritrea Opinion Tigray

(Source: Eritreahub.org, By: Mesfin Hagos, former Minister of Defense of Eritrea, 03 December 2020)

In an address to his country’s parliament on November 30, 2020, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister confirmed Eritrean support to his ongoing war against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the regional government of the northernly regional state of Tigray. Dr. Abiy told parliamentarians that Ethiopian soldiers who survived TPLF attack on the night of November 3 were ordered to withdraw into Eritrea where they were provided shelter and the space and provisions to recuperate. He flew there with three of his generals to reorganize the troops for a counterattack on Tigray – from Eritrea.

What Prime Minister Abiy did not tell his audience was the fact that, according to sources in the Eritrean capital, Asmara, in the run up to the current conflict, a large number of Ethiopian elite units had slowly trickled into Eritrea as part of a security pact between Abiy and Eritrean president Isaias Afwerki. Hidden from public view at an ad-hoc base in Gherghera, in the outskirts of Asmara, these units were expected to be the hammer and the Northern Command the anvil to strike out of existence the TPLF. TPLF preempted this scheme in what it called “anticipatory defense”, which forced both Abiy and Isaias to improvise leading to the eruption of conflict over longer time period and vast space.

Dr. Abiy did not disclose to the Ethiopian public and international community that even more federal troops were airlifted into Eritrea following the outbreak of conflict on November 4. In the 48 hours before TPLF’s bombing of Asmara on November 14, local sources counted close to 30 military airplanes flying in thousands of soldiers from Ethiopia. Subsequent flights transported more soldiers into the Eritrean seaports of Massawa and Asseb. Continue Reading

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