Eritrean government’s fury after US Embassy posts call for Eritrean troops to leave Tigray

The US Embassy in Asmara posted a Facebook note calling for Eritrea to withdraw its military forces from Tigray.

 

The Eritrean government was furious and sent Information Minister into denounce the statement.

 

Below is the report of the US decision to make this statement – as published by Associated Press on the 28th of January. The fact that this statement was put onto the US Embassy’s Facebook page in Asmara underlines that this is the policy the Biden presidency wishes to pursue.


 

US ‘directly’ presses Eritrea to withdraw forces from Tigray

January 28, 2021
FILE – In this Nov. 21, 2020, file photo, refugees who fled the conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region arrive on the banks of the Tekeze River on the Sudan-Ethiopia border, in Hamdayet, eastern Sudan. Huge unknowns persist in the deadly conflict, but details of the involvement of neighboring Eritrea, one of the world’s most secretive countries, are emerging with witness accounts by survivors and others. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty, File)

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The United States says it has directly “pressed senior levels” of Eritrea’s government to immediately withdraw its troops from neighboring Ethiopia, where witnesses have described them looting and hunting down civilians in the embattled Tigray region.

A State Department spokesperson in an email to The Associated Press on Thursday said Washington has conveyed “grave” concerns about credible reports of abuses. There were no details on how officials with Eritrea, one of the world’s most secretive countries, responded.

Eritrea has said little publicly about the conflict in Tigray as Ethiopian soldiers fight forces loyal to the now-fugitive Tigray regional leaders who once dominated Ethiopia’s government for nearly three decades. The Tigray leaders were marginalized after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed took office in 2018, and each side regards the other as illegitimate.

Ethiopia has repeatedly denied the presence of Eritrean soldiers, who some witnesses have estimated in the thousands. Now concerns are growing that the Eritrean forces refuse to leave. Eritrea remains an enemy of the fugitive Tigray leaders after a two-decade border war that ended under Abiy.

Eritrea’s information ministry on Thursday published a statement by the country’s embassy in the U.S. responding to an open letter this week by former U.S. ambassadors to Ethiopia that expressed concern about the Tigray conflict and Eritrea’s involvement.

“The allusion by these ambassadors to potential territorial war between Eritrea and Ethiopia can only be disingenuous in content and vicious in intent,” Eritrea’s statement said, expressing “profound dismay at their provocative and ill-intentioned swipe.”

The Tigray region remains largely cut off from the outside world and Ethiopia has blocked almost all journalists from entering, complicating efforts to verify assertions by the warring sides.

Meanwhile, humanitarian workers have had limited access to the estimated 6 million people in Tigray as food and other supplies run short and concerns about starvation grow.

The situation is “deteriorating every day, every minute,” the president of the Ethiopian Red Cross Society, Ato Abera Tola, told reporters on Thursday as Red Cross entities appealed for more financial support. “There is no area which is not affected by this conflict … the conflict is everywhere.”

The Ethiopia head of delegation for the International Committee for the Red Cross, Katia Sorin, said they still had not been able to reach rural areas of Tigray, a largely agricultural region. The ICRC is one of the few international organizations to maintain its operations in Tigray after fighting began.

“We’re helping, but it’s a drop in the ocean of need,” Sorin said.

9 comments

  1. A big gratitude to the US Embassy in Asmara for telling the truth and for been a champion of human rights.

    Let’s hope other Embassies in Asmara follow your example. I see no point in the presence of other Embassies in Asmara if they are fearful to speak the truth.

  2. What explains, “Eritrean government’s fury after US Embassy posts call for Eritrean troops to leave Tigray”? The answer: It considers itself as an “exceptional state”, and any criticism is, therefore, an “unwarranted statement…false and presumptive allegation…” For Eritrea to react differently, it has to revert into a normal state. What is the likelihood then? I argue it will be too late for this to happen; Eritrea will simply wither away.

  3. WASHINGTON

    US Secretary of State Antony Blinken raised the US’ concern Thursday about the situation in the Tigray region during a telephone call with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

    State Department spokesperson Ned Price said the two officials emphasized the importance of the US-Ethiopia relationship.

    “Secretary Blinken expressed our grave concern about the humanitarian crisis in the Tigray region and urged immediate, full, and unhindered humanitarian access to prevent further loss of life,” he said in a statement.

    Blinken reaffirmed the US’ commitment to Ethiopia’s reform agenda and support for upcoming national elections, as well as regional peace and security, said Price.

    A conflict broke erupted in November after the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) forces, once a dominant party on the federal level, captured a military base in Tigray.

    Ethiopia’s prime minister responded by ordering a security operation.

    1. “conflict erupted in November blah blah”
      What a simplification! During the peace accord with Eritrea #abiy was given the wrong medal for, there is sufficient prove that main and only agenda was planning the #tigreleople #genocide.

      “Blinken reaffirmed the US’ blah blah”
      It is obvious that you can’t read between the lines of diplomatic language. The commitment happens after #abiy
      • Grants full access to aid works
      • Stops the unjust war on #tigrepeople.
      • All political prisoners are released unconditionally.
      • All Ethiopians come together as equals at a round table to discuss their problems and find solutions.
      True reformation happens after majority vote wins at the round table. This is how people who understand diplomacy read it and then and only then US commitment resumes. Ask your #amara so called elites and I am sure they will tell you the same.
      Mr. Altaye either you are reaching above your capacity by participating in this forum or you are definitely from mars!

      #tigray #ethiopia #tplf #abiyahmed #tesfagiorgis #biden #eu #england #martinplaut #africa #usa #middleeast #addisstandard #eritereahub #ethiopiainsight #tigrepeople #amhara #somali-ethiopians

  4. Eritrea’s guilt in this genocide cannot be overestimated – the evil that Isaias is perpetrating reflects his character.

  5. The Biden administration has started well. Although this is very late, it seems the international powers are demanding the right thing.

    The Eritrean regime (and Abiy Ahmed) seems to think that they can fool the world. The level of their conduct in Tigray is too obvious to be concealed, too painful for the victims to forget. Even the Ethiopian army generals have said that Eritrea’s actions in Tigray were painful.

    The repercussions of this war on Tirgay has been devastating. What awaits for Eritrea cannot be bright after the role it played in the internal conflict of Ethiopians.
    Eritrea should not have been involved in this war, which I choose to call ‘the imposition of lawlessness.’ Now Eritrea should verifiably leave Tigray. We should try to minimise the damage.

    One hope that the International Community will take decisive action urgently and stop the obvious genocide, war crimes and treasonous acts by Abiy Ahmed and by Isaias Afwerki.

    1. Thank you for you clear and concise elaboration. Hope isayas etal heed the serious warnings coming out from the international community or else?

  6. Thank you for the bravery of the US Embassy in Eritrea for calling out the human rights abuses of the Eritrean Government. The world is watching – and these atrocities will not be forgotten.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *