Diplomats back claims Eritrean troops have joined Ethiopia conflict

Eritrea Tigray

(Source: TheGuardian.com, 08 December 2020)

A US official and other diplomatic sources have backed accusations that Eritrean soldiers are fighting alongside Ethiopian troops to help Abiy Ahmed’s government in the war on the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), complicating an already dangerous conflict.

The claims made to Reuters, which interviewed several unidentified diplomats in the region and a US official, follow mounting allegations by Tigrayan leaders that Eritrea, long a rival of Ethiopia, had joined with Ethiopian forces against a common enemy despite denials from both nations.

According to some accounts, thousands of Eritrean troops have joined the conflict during the last month of fighting, while Tigrayan forces have admitted rocketing the Eritrean capital, Asmara.

While refugees crossing into Sudan have also made similar claims, confirmation has been complicated by the lack of access for outsiders, including media, and the cutting of communications to the region.

Earlier this month the regional president of Tigray, Debretsion Gebremichael, accused Eritrean forces of mass looting.

According to the report, evidence of Eritrean involvement cited in the US view of the month-long war includes satellite images, intercepted communications and anecdotal reports from the Tigray region.

“There doesn’t appear to be a doubt anymore. It’s being discussed by US officials on calls – that the Eritreans are in Tigray – but they aren’t saying it publicly,” the US government source, who has been privy to the internal calls, told Reuters.

The latest allegations follow an incident on Sunday when a UN security team attempting to visit a camp for those displaced in the fighting reportedly encountered uniformed Eritrean troops during an incident in which they were shot at and detained.

Troops suspected of being Eritrean have also allegedly been spotted in the regional capital Mekelle, said a resident and two diplomats in touch with the city’s inhabitants.

Some were reported to be in Eritrean uniforms, one of the diplomats said. Others wore Ethiopian uniforms, but spoke Tigrinya with an Eritrean accent and drove trucks without license plates, the resident told Reuters.

US official among sources saying soldiers from Eritrea are fighting in operations against Tigray People’s Liberation Front.

A US official and other diplomatic sources have backed accusations that Eritrean soldiers are fighting alongside Ethiopian troops to help Abiy Ahmed’s government in the war on the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), complicating an already dangerous conflict.

The claims made to Reuters, which interviewed several unidentified diplomats in the region and a US official, follow mounting allegations by Tigrayan leaders that Eritrea, long a rival of Ethiopia, had joined with Ethiopian forces against a common enemy despite denials from both nations.

According to some accounts, thousands of Eritrean troops have joined the conflict during the last month of fighting, while Tigrayan forces have admitted rocketing the Eritrean capital, Asmara.

While refugees crossing into Sudan have also made similar claims, confirmation has been complicated by the lack of access for outsiders, including media, and the cutting of communications to the region.

Earlier this month the regional president of Tigray, Debretsion Gebremichael, accused Eritrean forces of mass looting.

According to the report, evidence of Eritrean involvement cited in the US view of the month-long war includes satellite images, intercepted communications and anecdotal reports from the Tigray region.

“There doesn’t appear to be a doubt anymore. It’s being discussed by US officials on calls – that the Eritreans are in Tigray – but they aren’t saying it publicly,” the US government source, who has been privy to the internal calls, told Reuters.

The latest allegations follow an incident on Sunday when a UN security team attempting to visit a camp for those displaced in the fighting reportedly encountered uniformed Eritrean troops during an incident in which they were shot at and detained.

Troops suspected of being Eritrean have also allegedly been spotted in the regional capital Mekelle, said a resident and two diplomats in touch with the city’s inhabitants.

Some were reported to be in Eritrean uniforms, one of the diplomats said. Others wore Ethiopian uniforms, but spoke Tigrinya with an Eritrean accent and drove trucks without license plates, the resident told Reuters. Continue Reading

 

1 thought on “Diplomats back claims Eritrean troops have joined Ethiopia conflict

  1. dear mekete Tigray editorial staff,

    it is the most irritating title you chose . You know, US embassy in eritrea in Finfine kew it before we know it. They must be informed on every military operation in a place they reside for their safety and other reasons. I thought there is no US embassy in eritrea except consular office or something like that. So, these people know it very well long time before. they chose to tell us now. We know they are always politically correct and know the right time to bring something to public view. aytehirikuna bejakum ahiwatina . betesebna bitimiyet yehalik alo esom inna feletu wereket tiray yisedu alewu

    tay yiabselna nisidrana ???hawariyat kab timet kuwinat yehayich eyilom yibehal betaami yehizin eritrawayin ayey ahiwatinana bisiru !!

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