Dehai News

Eritrea summons British diplomat over Tigray remarks

Posted by: Semere Asmelash

Date: Saturday, 12 August 2023


UK Ambassador to Ethiopia Darren Welch in Mekelle. Photo: Tigray TV


AFP
August 12, 202301:08
  • Eritrea summons British diplomat over Tigray remarks


    The remarks by British envoy to Ethiopia were made during an interview with TPLF-linked broadcaster Tigrai TV.

  • *Eritrea broke away from Ethiopia in 1993 and fought a border war with its neighbor, which poisoned relations until a peace deal in 2018, after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed came to power

  • Eritrea has summoned a British diplomat to protest remarks by the UK ambassador to Ethiopia urging Asmara to withdraw from Ethiopia's Tigray region.

    Eritrean troops supported Ethiopian forces during the federal government's two-year war against the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) and have been accused by the US and rights groups of committing atrocities.

    The war ended with a peace deal signed in November last year that called for the withdrawal of foreign forces, but Asmara was not a party to the agreement and its troops continue to be present in bordering areas of Tigray.

    In an interview posted online on Wednesday, the British envoy to Ethiopia Darren Welch told the TPLF-linked broadcaster Tigrai TV that the UK government backed "calls for Eritrean forces to withdraw completely back to their own borders".

    Strong message

    Eritrea's foreign ministry summoned the British charge d'affaires in Asmara on Thursday "to convey strong message to Whitehall on unwarranted remarks of (the) British Ambassador to Ethiopia... apparently endorsing TPLF's irredentist claims", Information MinIster Yemane Gebremeskel said on Friday on X, formerly Twitter.

    Eritrea broke away from Ethiopia in 1993 and fought a two-year border war with its neighbour - then ruled by the TPLF - which poisoned relations until a peace agreement in 2018, after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed came to power in Addis Ababa.

    Eritrea was sanctioned by the US in 2021 after sending troops into Tigray.

    During a rare press conference in Kenya earlier this year, Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki dismissed accusations of rights abuses by Eritrean troops in Tigray as "fantasy".

    Human Rights Watch in February called for fresh sanctions against Eritrea, accusing it of rounding up thousands of people, including minors, for mandatory military service, during the Tigray war.

  • AFP



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