Says it can invite any foreign power, including Eritrean troops
Ethiopia did not invite Eritrean troops to engage in Tigray region during the government’s law enforcement operation, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated.
In a weekly presser, spokesperson of the Ministry, Dina Mufti told journalists that “No official military agreement exists between the two countries. We have not made an official invitation for Eritrean troops to be involved in Tigray region,” he said.
Following rocket launches carried out by the defunct Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) to Asmara, Eritrean troops positioned on the porous border area of the two neighboring countries could have possibly moved into Ethiopian territory, Dina Mufti said.
However, Dina chose not to unequivocally determine whether Eritrean troops have been involved or not.
Calls from international rights organizations and governments continue to demand the withdrawal of Eritrean troops from Tigray region.
Recently, Amnesty International, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, the European Union, the United States and others lamented the involvement of Eritrean forces in the region.
In addition, Amnesty International’s investigation concluded that Eritrean troops massacred hundreds of civilians in Axum in late November 2020, an alleged atrocity that amounts to a possible crime against humanity.
Last week, the US Secretary of State, Antony J. Blinken spoke to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) and expressed US concern over the humanitarian and human rights crisis in Ethiopia’s Tigray region.
The US Secretary also pushed the Ethiopian government towards the immediate end to hostilities and the withdrawal of outside forces from Tigray, including Amhara regional security forces and Eritrean troops.
However, Dina downplayed the US statement calling it “ridiculous” and stating “We don’t have any Oromo, Amhara, Tigray or other regional forces; rather there is one federal force, which is acting based on the direction given by the federal government.”
Regarding Eritrean forces, explained Dina, they can participate in the operation if invited by the Ethiopian government.
“As a sovereign nation, we can invite Somalia, Sudan or Eritrea,” said Dina, “but, what we are saying is there has not been any request from Ethiopia for military support.”
The statement released by the Office of the Prime Minister on Wednesday underscored that the deliberate and heinous attack on the Northern Command of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces, which brutally killed the ultimate guardians of the Constitution, is a crime of high treason under the laws of the land.
The statement further indicated that no individual or entity, nationally or internationally, is above the laws of the land and the government of Ethiopia realizes its duties of upholding the law and protecting the country.
Ethiopia’s government has also rejected any partisan interventions and politically motivated campaigns against its administration, which it says aimed at undermining the rule of law measures it has taken and will continue to take in bringing the criminal clique and other perpetrators to justice.