Ethiopia PM Abiy Ahmed says Eritrea will withdraw troops from Tigray

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
  • Ethiopian Prime Minister announced that Eritrea will pull its troops out of Ethiopia's northern Tigray region.
  • Both Eritrean and Ethiopian troops have been accused of attacks on civilians.
  • Both countries had for months denied that Eritrean troops were in Tigray.


Eritrea will pull its troops out of Ethiopia's northern Tigray region, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said on Friday, in a potential breakthrough toward ending a drawn-out conflict that has seen atrocities carried out against civilians.

The announcement comes as Abiy, winner of the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize, faces mounting pressure to end fighting in which both Eritrean and Ethiopian troops stand accused of abuses including mass killings and rapes.

READ | Men forced to rape family members in Ethiopia's Tigray, UN reports

Abiy sent troops into Tigray on 4 November after blaming the region's once-dominant ruling party, the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), for attacks on army camps.

For months both Addis Ababa and Asmara denied Eritrean troops were in Tigray, contradicting accounts from residents, diplomats and even some Ethiopian civilian and military officials.

Abiy finally acknowledged Eritrea's role in a speech to lawmakers on Tuesday, then flew Thursday to Asmara to meet with Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki.

Massacre

READ | 'Horrific event' as Ethiopia troops murder civilians, says MSF witnesses

During that visit "the government of Eritrea has agreed to withdraw its forces out of the Ethiopian border," Abiy said in a statement posted to his Twitter account on Friday.

"The Ethiopian National Defence Force will take over guarding the border areas effective immediately," he added.

Eritrean information minister Yemane Gebremeskel did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have accused Eritrean troops of killing hundreds of Tigrayans in a November massacre in the town of Axum.

AFP has separately documented a massacre allegedly carried out by Eritrean forces in the town of Dengolat, also in November.

Abiy claimed victory in Tigray in late November after Ethiopian troops took the regional capital Mekele, but TPLF leaders remain on the run and fighting continues.

Did you know you can comment on this article? Subscribe to News24 and add your voice to the conversation.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
President Ramaphosa has punted the idea of mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations for South Africans. This is:
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
The right thing to do. We desperately need more South Africans vaccinated to prevent further mutations and restore normality in our lives.
72% - 6535 votes
A risky strategy. Compulsory vaccinations may have unintended consequences and damage our rollout campaign.
28% - 2589 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
16.04
-1.0%
Rand - Pound
21.28
-0.7%
Rand - Euro
18.15
-0.8%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.39
-0.6%
Rand - Yen
0.14
-1.3%
Gold
1,781.01
+0.3%
Silver
22.26
-2.5%
Palladium
1,736.96
-0.3%
Platinum
935.00
-0.6%
Brent Crude
69.23
-5.5%
Top 40
64,786
+1.1%
All Share
71,198
+1.0%
Resource 10
67,859
+0.9%
Industrial 25
93,997
+0.9%
Financial 15
13,880
+2.1%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE