Eritrean troops leave Tigray after TPLF is disarmed
ADDIS ABABA – The Eritrean troops fighting in Tigray may stay in Ethiopia a little longer, a senior official has said, even as pressure mounts from a number of stakeholders who accuse them of fueling hatred and instability in the embattled nation in the Horn of Africa. .
Ethiopian government information and communications minister Legese Tulu told the BBC that all forces fighting in the Tigray region that are not part of the federal army will withdraw as soon as the Tigrayan rebels disarm, which would take a little longer before stabilization is realized.
The Ethiopian government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front [TPLF] signed an agreement in South Africa paving the way for a cessation of hostilities in the Tigray region. Later, the teams, in the presence of army chiefs from the two parties, met in Nairobi where they drafted the preliminary ceasefire agreement.
For two years Eritrean soldiers, Amhara and Afar regional militias have been working closely with the Ethiopian National Defense Forces [ENDF] in the first against TPLF. Guided by this cooperation, the TPLF has also carried out a number of attacks against the groups, even seizing several territories.
In Nairobi, it was agreed that the Ethiopian army would take care of strategic facilities such as airports in Tigray, with the TPLF expected to hand over weapons to the national government before the implantation of Eritrean troops’ liberation from the northern part of Ethiopia.
Meanwhile, an opposition party in the Tigray region, Baytona Tigray, has rejected the peace deal, saying the TPLF does not represent the Tigray people. This is likely to derail the ongoing process of restoring peace and stability in Tigray, where the international community is demanding immediate order.
The United States, which has been pushing for the withdrawal of Eritrean troops, warned parties that could sabotage the implementation of peace agreements. Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo and his Kenyan counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta were integral to this process.