Wednesday, March 31, 2021
Home Breaking News Ethiopian Prime Minister Eritrea withdraws troops
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Ethiopian Prime Minister Eritrea withdraws troops

The war in northern Ethiopia is primarily about who will rule over Tigray. In early November 2020, the regional force TPLF attacked several federal army bases in Tigray, killing a large number of government soldiers. In response, the army launched an offensive against the region with the support of militia groups and already after a couple of weeks, the Prime Minister declared that the TPLF had been defeated without civilians being killed.

Rape and extrajudicial executions

More than 500 rape cases have been reported, but the number can be large, says Wafaa Saaed, the UN’s deputy aid coordinator in Ethiopia.

– Women say they have been raped under gun threat. They also talk about gang rapes, rapes in front of family members and men who have been forced to rape their own family members under threat, says Wafaa Saaed.

At the same time, several massacres of civilians have been revealed.

– For Prime Minister Abiy, this is a problem and an opportunity. It is documented that the Eritrean soldiers were responsible for the largest abuses, but government soldiers and militia forces have carried out similar abuses, albeit not on the same scale. Now Abiy can put all the blame on Eritrea and thereby reduce the risk of being accused of war crimes and avoid sanctions from the US and the EU, says Kjetil Tronvoll.

Peace far away

After Abiy Ahmed became Prime Minister three years ago, he surprised the world by making peace with Eritrea. Abiy thereby undermined the TPLF, which had ruled Ethiopia harshly for decades, and when the war in Tigray broke out, Eritrea, unofficially, sided with Abiy. On Tuesday, Abiy Ahmed confirmed that Eritrean soldiers were on the Ethiopian side of the border and on Friday the message came that they would return home, but when is unclear.

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Professor Tronvoll believes that the fighting will continue until June when the rainy season begins.

– There is no reason to feel optimistic, Abiy still denies that Eritrean soldiers are in large parts of Tigray and is the main force in the war against TPLF, Tronvoll says.

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