The Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed, has acknowledged for the first time on Tuesday the entry of Eritrean forces to support the Ethiopian Army in the offensive launched in November against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) in the region of Tigray, located in the north of the country.
Abiy said in an appearance before parliament that he has spoken to Eritrean authorities about the allegations against Eritrean soldiers for alleged atrocities in Tigray, without giving further details, British television network BBC reported.
The TPLF has repeatedly denounced the presence of Eritrean troops in the region in support of government forces, which is denied by Addis Ababa and Asmara. However, both the European Union (EU) and the United States have called for their withdrawal, although Eritrea has defended at all times that it did not send troops to the neighboring country.
In this regard, he stressed that “there are reports that indicate that atrocities were committed in Tigray” and said that “regardless of the exaggerated propaganda of the TPLF, any soldier responsible for raping women or looting communities in the region will be held accountable, as their mission is to protect”.
The prime minister has further said that “the government reserves the right to deploy forces, including special forces from the Amhara region or any other, to any corner of the country where support is needed in the face of existing threats.”
Abiy has further stated that “the conflict and violence” in the country “cannot be stopped with will alone” and argued that “the active participation of all citizens is necessary”. He argued that “the people of Tigray will not eat ‘concerns on Twitter'” and added that “they need wheat”.
The United Nations said Monday that the conflict in Tigray “continues to cause massive population displacement in the region” and said the humanitarian situation “is extremely serious and continues to deteriorate”.
“We urgently need more funding to ensure that we can help the people affected by the conflict,” said UN Secretary-General’s deputy spokesman Farhan Haq, who said $1.3 billion (about 1.095 billion euros) is needed, of which about $740 million (about 623 million euros) has been received.
The offensive was launched on November 4 by order of the prime minister in response to an attack by the TPLF then ruling Tigray, on an army base in the regional capital, Mekelle, which resulted in the death of a large number of Ethiopian military personnel.
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THE DAM ON THE BLUE NILE
On the other hand, the Ethiopian Prime Minister stressed that Addis Ababa “has no desire to harm Egypt or Sudan” through the construction of its dam on the Blue Nile River, which has generated disputes in the region in recent years.
However, he has advocated that “Ethiopia does not want to live in darkness.” “Our light will illuminate them, not harm them. We will continue on the road with the Grand Renaissance Dam, without causing harm to any of these countries,” he has promised.
The Sudanese government on Monday called on Ethiopia to accept its proposal for mediation by the United Nations, the European Union (EU), the African Union (AU) and the United States over the disputes generated by the construction of the dam, backed by Cairo and rejected by Addis Ababa.