Eritrea’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Sophia Tesfamariam, wrote to Ambassador Dang Dinh Quy, the new President of the United Nations Security Council, saying, “Eritrea and Ethiopia have agreed – at the highest levels – to embark on the removal of Eritrean forces and the simultaneous redeployment of Ethiopian contingents along the international border.”
This is Eritrea’s first public acknowledgment of its forces’ role and participation in the war in Tigray, where widespread allegations of war crimes such as human slavery, extrajudicial executions, systematic starving of civilians, and pillaging and deliberate destruction of civilian facilities have been extensively corroborated.
The withdrawal comes “as the looming grave threat has been effectively blocked,” according to the Ambassador’s note, which is yet another concession that Eritrea’s troops are in Tigray to fight alongside Ethiopian federal defense forces.
However, it’s unclear which deal the Ambassador was referring to in his letter when he said “top standards.” Eritrea’s Ministry of Information issued a statement on March 26, the same day Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said Eritrea had agreed to withdraw its troops. The statement made no mention of any such deal.
Eritrea’s forces have been accused of attempting to commit crimes against civilians in Tigray since then. According to the most recent survey, Eritrean “troops killed three people and wounded at least 19 in an unprovoked assault on civilians in the center of Adwa town on 12 April,” according to Amnesty International.