Ethiopia PM Abiy says Eritrea to withdraw troops from Tigray

ETHIOPIA – (WARSOOR) – Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed says Eritrea has agreed to withdraw its forces from Tigray, which witnessed mass atrocities against civilians during the months-long conflict in the restive region.

“In our March 26, 2021 discussions with President Isaias Afwerki during my visit to Asmara, 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 Defense force will take over guarding the border areas effective immediately,” Abiy said.

The prime minister added that restoring “trust-based people to people relations among our citizens in the Tigray region and fellow Eritreans across the border is essential”.

The new statement does not say how many Eritrean soldiers have been in Ethiopia, although witnesses have estimated that number is well into the thousands.

Eritrean Information Minister Yemane Meskel did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

The statement comes after intense pressure from the United States and others to address the deadly crisis in Tigray, where witnesses have described Eritrean soldiers looting, killing and raping.