U.S. orders ‘immediate withdrawal’ of Eritrean troops from Tigray region

Official Emblem of the United States (Photo: US)

Dec 11, 2020 (Thessherald)–After receiving credible reports on the ground, the United States has ordered the immediate withdrawal of Eritrean forces from the Tigray region.

“This is a grave development,” a U.S. State Department spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

Last month, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front launched a series of attacks on the Eritrean capital Asmara, blowing up an airport and other facilities –after accusing Eritrea of having involved in the Ethiopian conflict.

The U.S. said it’s also aware of reports of human rights violations in the region, and called for an independent investigation of the matter.

“All parties must respect human rights and international humanitarian law,” the Sate Department said.

Federal government blocks refugees from seeking safety in Addis Ababa.

Today, the federal government ordered the immediate return of Eritrean refugees to their camps in the Tigray region, despite security concerns, a move the United Nations described as “unacceptable”.

“A large number of misinformed Eritrean refugees are moving out in an irregular manner particularly from Mai-Ayni and Adi-Harush refugee camps to Addis Ababa. Such an unregulated movement of the refugees with high dependence on aid will create difficulties in ensuring their safety, security, dignity, and in providing a coordinated protection and assistance. Given the priority the government gives to humanitarian assistance, the refugees were kept in a dignified manner and sheltered and nurtured by the government,” The Ethiopian State of Emergency Task-Force said on Friday.

Claiming that, “Ethiopia has a very long, and cherished history of hospitality and generosity to people who are forcibly displaced due to man-made and natural calamities.”

“The Government is working tirelessly to fully reactivate and continue provision of critical lifesaving services to the refugees as well as to ensure a safe and secured operating environment for frontline responders.

“As a result of which transportation of food to the camps is underway among other things. At this point in time, the areas in Tigray region in which the Eritrean refugee camps are situated are stable given that they are under the full control of the Federal Government.

“With that understanding, therefore, the Government is safely returning those refugees to their respective camps where they can have access to service delivery systems, and more importantly they can live lawfully and peacefully with the communities that host them.”