Source: Kjetil Tronvoll
Is Eritrea and the Eritrean Defence Force (EDF) preparing a new military offensive against Tigray?
Over the last week information of considerable Eritrean troops deployments in Western Tigray has been confirmed by both the Tigray Defence Forces (TDF) and international sources.
It is believed that Eritrean forces are filling the vacuum left by the Ethiopian National Defence Forces (ENDF) and Amhara special forces which have pulled out of Western Tigray to fight the TDF offensives in Amhara. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has allegedly promised the Amhara People’s Party that he will defend Western Tigray and has endorsed Amhara control of the area.
More concerning, however, is intelligence on new the Eritrean troop reinforcements along the Eritrea- Tigray/Ethiopia northern border, on the Badme, Rama and Zalambessa frontlines. After the EDF pulled back from central Tigray, there has not been substantial active military engagement on the northern front.
Seen from Asmara, the war in Ethiopia is a “do or die” moment for President Isaias Afwerki.
If the TDF-Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) alliance is successful in bringing about a political transition in Ethiopia, the Eritrean regime will be vulnerable. Hence, Isaias needs to sacrifice more of his people to ensure the survival of Abiy.
As the TDF offensives in Afar and Amhara move forward, Tigray has committed many troops and resources outside of their region, possibly leaving their northern flank vulnerable (at least as seen from Eritrea and Addis/Ethiopia).
Furthermore, in order to ease military pressure on the ENDF and Amhara, and to halt the TDF offensives against Bahir Dar, Semera and Addis Ababa, it would serve Abiy’s interest for Eritrea to launch an attack on the northern front, forcing the TDF to rethink their southern offensives.
The UN, UN Security Council, the US and EU should be attentive of this development, as a renewed Eritrean war in Tigray would be likely to be even more disastrous, with more atrocities, than their earlier engagements.
[Note: this is from a series of Tweets by Kjetil Tronvoll]