No proof of Eritrean troops fighting in Ethiopia: UN chief

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

UNITED NATIONS (Xinhua) — UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Wednesday that there is no proof of Eritrean troops inside Ethiopia, where government forces are fighting rebels in the northernmost region of Tigray.

“We have no proof of the presence of Eritrean troops inside Ethiopia. I confronted the (Ethiopian) prime minister with that question, and he guaranteed to me that they have not entered the Tigrayan territory, that the only area where they are is the area that corresponded to the disputed territory between the two countries that in the peace agreement was decided to give back to Eritrea,” Guterres told reporters.

“So this was the testimony that was given to me by the prime minister when I confronted him exactly with that question.”

There are media reports saying that Eritrean troops have crossed into Ethiopia to help Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed‘s military campaign against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).

Since Nov. 4, the Ethiopian government has been undertaking military operations against the TPLF, which rules Ethiopia’s northernmost Tigray state. The federal government’s operations followed the TPLF’s attack on a command base of the Ethiopian Defense Force in Mekelle city, capital of Tigray.

The United Nations has information of sporadic fighting in different areas of Ethiopia. But it also has information that there was in the last few days a progressive increase of security and control, said Guterres. “But again, these are information that I am not in a position to fully confirm.”

On humanitarian access to the Tigray region, Guterres said the United Nations and Ethiopia are in a second agreement.

“The only thing I can say is that, after the first agreement that was not possible to implement immediately, we have now a second agreement for joint assessment missions in relation to humanitarian needs between the UN and Ethiopia, to make sure that there is full access to the whole of the territory and full capacity to start humanitarian operations based on real needs and without any kind of discrimination,” said Guterres.

A UN convoy was shot at by Ethiopian troops in Tigray on Sunday, triggering the alarm at the world body. The United Nations has not provided details of the incident.

“The UN has seen the reports of a UN convoy being shot at in Tigray province. These are alarming reports, and we are engaging at the highest level with the federal government to express our concerns and avoid any such incidents in the future,” said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for Guterres, on Tuesday.

2 comments

  1. The TPLF thugs implicate the Eritreans in the conflict because they ranted no force in Ethiopia would be able to fight and defeat them. Their contempt and disdain for the non-Tigrayan Ethiopians would not make them accept and swallow the bitter defeat they suffered at the hands of the Ethiopian army. Ethiopia does not need any foreign military aid to crush a handful thugs who suffer from the illusion of grandeur.

  2. Our dear Eritrean brothers and sisters are minding their business inside their country throughout this conflict. The restraints they showed even after being fired upon by the demons at the top echelon of the TPLF is destined to be legendary. Hats off to you my noble neighbors!!!

    I’m glad the Honorable Secretary General put all the speculation to rest. You hear that bigots!!! Those fire spitting patriots from Ethiopia don’t need outside help to kick your bulging beer guts and 2-ton behind. And el-Sisi is telling you no dice either!!! Winning!!!!!

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