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EU says Eritrean troops involved in Tigray military operations

Expressing its concerns for a regional spill-over, the European Union said Eritrean troops are involved in military operations in Tigray.  

In his blog published yesterday, Vice-President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell said the conflict is also a direct threat to the stability of the Horn of Africa as it is affecting or involving other countries.

“The situation on the ground goes well beyond a purely internal ‘law and order’ operation,” said Borrell, while announcing EU’s decision to suspend EUR 88 million (USD 106 million) in budget support.

The federal government started an offensive against the forces of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) since November 2020, with an ongoing fight reported in some areas as the national army continues to apprehend TPLF officials.

EU also indicated that over two million people have been internally displaced.  

“We receive consistent reports of ethnic-targeted violence, killings, massive looting, rape, forceful returns of refugees and possible war crimes,” said Borrell, mentioning people who are in dire need of aid still do not have access to humanitarian assistance.

Recalling that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) won a Nobel Peace Prize for achieving peace with Eritrea, the Vice-President of the EU said the world needs Ethiopia’s Prime Minister and his government to live up to this prestigious recognition - by doing all it takes to end the conflict.

“As an immediate first step, the Ethiopian authorities must comply fully with international humanitarian law and ensure that people in need get access to life-saving aid. This applies to all states in conflict,” Borrell said.

The federal government has been denying the involvement of Eritrean troops since the beginning of its law enforcement operation in Tigray.