Africa

Ethiopian Foreign Ministry Says Eritrea Started Pulling Troops Out of Tigray

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Eritrea has started withdrawing its troops from the northern restive Ethiopian region of Tigray, in accordance with an agreement reached by the two countries on 26 March, the Foreign Ministry of Ethiopia said in a statement.

“As announced last week, the Eritrean troops who had crossed the border when provoked by the TPLF [Tigray People’s Liberation Front] have now started to evacuate and the Ethiopian National Defense Force has taken over guarding the national border,” the ministerial statement, published late on Saturday, said.

The Ethiopian armed forces launched a military operation in Tigray this past November after the government in Addis Ababa accused the TPLF, the then-ruling party in the region, of attacking a military base. Later in the same month, Ethiopian troops ousted the TPLF from the regional capital of Mekelle.

In late 2020, TPLF leader Debretsion Gebremichael said that Eritrea, which was technically at war with Ethiopia until 2018, had sent troops across the border in support of Ethiopian government forces.

Thousands of people reportedly died in the Tigray conflict and there is a lack of food and other essentials in the region. The November hostilities also forced over 60,000 Ethiopians to flee to neighboring Sudan.

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