Ethiopia confirms ethnic massacres in Tigray and the involvement of Eritrea

Ethiopia confirms ethnic massacres in Tigray and the involvement of Eritrea

Kanako Mita and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The government of Ethiopia confirmed for the first time that the armed forces of Eritrea helped during the conflict in Tigray. Also, the leader of Ethiopia admitted that ethnic massacres had taken place. The Ethiopian leader confirmed this while pointing out a massacre committed by Tigrayan forces.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said, “Reports indicate that atrocities have been committed in the Tigray region.”

Abiy lay blame for the crisis on opposition Tigrayan forces who sought to push for power. He said this happened at a time of heightened concerns over Covid-19 and devastation brought by locusts. However, instead of the leaders in Tigray focusing on internal issues, Abiy claims they focused on inciting “a war narrative” against central forces.

Voice of America reports, “War is “a nasty thing,” Abiy said, speaking the local Amharic language. “We know the destruction this war has caused.” He said soldiers who raped women or committed other war crimes will be held responsible, even though he cited “propaganda of exaggeration” by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, the once-dominant party whose leaders challenged Abiy’s legitimacy after the postponement of elections last year.”

Abiy also confirmed that the armed forces of Eritrea had supported central government Ethiopian forces during the height of the conflict. This comes after months of denial by Ethiopia and Eritrea and gives further credence to reports given by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).

Reuters reports, “Abiy said Eritrean troops had crossed the border because they were concerned they would be attacked by TPLF forces, but the Eritreans had promised to leave when Ethiopia’s military was able to control the border. The TPLF repeatedly fired rockets at Eritrea after the conflict began.”

Modern Tokyo Times stated late last year that “Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is adamant that agitation in Tigray is threatening the nation-state of Ethiopia. Likewise, the TPLF is disillusioned by power concentration processes that challenge their vision for Tigray.”

Hence, with ethnic massacres taking place and TPLF forces moving to mountainous regions, the crisis is still ongoing. This applies despite the armed forces of Ethiopia having a firm grip on the situation at the moment. Therefore, the thorny issues of power concentration, federalism, regional grievances, ethnicity, religion, a unitary state, and political differences all continue to exist in Ethiopia to various degrees.

Thus compromises are needed by all concerned parties, while support for displaced people in Tigray is essential.

https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-ethiopia-conflict-idUSKBN2BF1Z1

https://www.voanews.com/africa/ethiopias-leader-says-atrocities-committed-tigray-war

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