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Ethiopia says Eritrean troops withdrawing from Tigray

The Ethiopian government says Eritrean forces involved in the Tigray conflict have begun withdrawing from the northern region bordering Eritrea.

The move announced on Thursday means the Eritrean troops are pulling out of the region, nearly two months after pressure started to mount from international partners for them to leave the region.

“The process of withdrawing Eritrean troops from Ethiopia has begun,” Ethiopian Defence Minister Kenea Yadetta said at a forum organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the situation in Tigray.

The official however, did not mention how many troops will be exiting or when they will pull out completely.

Read: ‘It was a war’: Ethnic killings cloud Ethiopia’s election buildup

The withdrawal of Eritrean troops from Ethiopia is one of the most pressing issues raised by the US, the European Union and various international aid and rights organisations in a bid to arrest a seven-month crisis in the Tigray region.

Eritrean soldiers remain widely accused of serious human rights abuses, including sexual assault and killings in the Tigray region.

Kenea further said that the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) is not in a position to fight the national defense forces but admitted that it has continued to carrying out ambushes on a number of districts.

Shumete Yigzaw, Director General of the Information Network Security Agency, who was present at the forum, said the communication equipment used by aid agencies in Tigray cannot be used for military purposes.

Shumete said aid workers who attempted to use unauthorised communication equipment had been arrested.

“Humanitarian action should not be a threat to national security. In this case, actions are being undertaken,” he said.

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