ERITREA ISSUES ARMY MOBILISATION CALL AS ETHIOPIA FIGHTING RESUMES
Eritrea is mobilising armed forces due to the recrudescence of the dispute in northern Ethiopia.
On Saturday, 17th of September, the Canadian government said fears are arising that the fighting may intensify and the war has displaced millions already and also triggered a humanitarian disaster over northern Ethiopia.
A Canadian travel advisor tweeted, “Local authorities have issued a general call for mobilisation of armed forces in response to the conflict in northern Ethiopia.”
The Canadian government impelled its citizens in Eritrea to monitor local media and limit their movement. From the statement, it was not apparent if Canada believed that the forces Eritrea was mobilising were for defensive or offensive purposes.
Yemane Gebremeskel, Eritrean Information Minister and Legesse Tulu, Ethiopian government spokesperson, did not respond immediately to requests for comment.
Reuters was told by a Horn of Africa diplomat that “Guards at embassies, UN compounds and residencies had expressed fears they would be taken from their positions due to the widespread conscription.”
An Eritrean exile told Reuters that two family members within Eritrea said the government would be sending under 60 citizens to fight and that authorities warned that deserted houses would be confiscated.
Reuters could not verify his account independently.
Getachew Reda, who is a spokesperson for the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which is in control of Ethiopia’s northern region of Tigray, in a tweet on Saturday, said that Eritrea was calling up “sixty-year-old reservists” to fight.
Troops were sent into Tigray by Eritrea to back the Ethiopian military after a fight ensued between the TPLF and the Ethiopian government in 2020.
Until March 2021, both Ethiopian and Eritrean officials denied reports of the Presence of Eritreans in Tigray.
Despite the widespread accounts of mass killings and gang rapes of civilians by the Eritrean troops, Eritrea denied all the accusations from human rights groups and residents.
Last month, conflicts started again around Tigray after the collapse of about a five-month-long ceasefire. Both sides laid blame on each other for the renewed violence.
From 1998–2000, Ethiopia and Eritrea fought a border war. TPLF dominated the Ethiopian government at the time. The TPLF and Eritrea remain arch-enemies.
Abiy Ahmed, Ethiopian Prime Minister 2018, signed a peace deal with Eritrea when he came into power. This act won him the Nobel Peace Prize. But relations quickly soured between Abiy and the TPLF.
Abiy’s government claims that the TPLF is trying to assert Tigrayan dominance over Ethiopia again. In contrast, the TPLF blames Abiy for oppressing Tigrayans and over-centralising power.
Each side refuses the other’s narrative.
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