Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said on Friday that Eritrea will pull its troops out of Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region. Its announcement comes as a breakthrough in a drawn-out conflict that has seen atrocities carried out against civilians.
Abiy Ahmed, the winner of the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize, has been facing mounting pressure to end fighting in which both Eritrean and Ethiopian troops stand accused of abuses including mass killings and rapes. This is the reason he made this announcement.
Abiy sent troops into Tigray on November 4 after indicting the region’s once-dominant ruling party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), of attacks on army camps. Both Addis Ababa and Asmara denied sending their troops to Tigray, but Abiy finally admitted Eritrea’s role in an appearance before lawmakers.
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch (HRW) have accused Eritrean troops of massacring hundreds of people in the Tigrayan town of Axum in November. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has called for the exit of the Eritreans as well as forces from Ethiopia’s Amhara region from Tigray.