Eritrean troops are supporting Ethiopian government forces in their battle against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), Reuters reported on December 8, citing a U.S. government source and five regional diplomats.
A U.S. government source told Reuters that Washington is concerned by Eritrea’s involvement in the ongoing conflict in the Tigray region.
The deployment of Eritrean troops in the northern Ethiopian region was previously reported by residents, refugees and TPLF leader, Debretsion Gebremichael.
“There doesn’t appear to be a doubt anymore. It’s being discussed by U.S. officials on calls – that the Eritreans are in Tigray – but they aren’t saying it publicly,” the U.S. government source told Reuters.
A senior diplomat from another country allegedly confirmed to Reuters that “thousands” of Eritrean troops are currently fighting against the TPLF in Tigray.
Tigray has been under attack by the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) since November 4. The operation was ordered by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in response to an attack by the TPLF on several military bases in the northern region.
The ENDF captured the capital of Tigray, Makelle, on November 28. However, the battle in the region is still ongoing. The TPLF continue to show fierce resistance.
On December 8, the ENDF opened fire at a UN team in Tigray. Redwan Hussein, a spokesman for the government, said the team ignored instructions not to be in the area.
The ongoing conflict in Tigray, which will not likely end anytime soon, has so far claimed the lives of 611 civilians and displaced thousands others. The involvement of Eritrean forces, which signed a peace deal with Ethiopia two years ago, will likely inflame the conflict.
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