Addis Abeba – Officials in Tigray state accused Eritrean forces of provoking fresh military attack over the weekend. Commenting on the statement, Ethiopia’s federal government first said it was not aware of the reports by authorities in Tigray, but accused Tigrayan forces of provoking the attack.
Getachew Reda, Advisor to the President of Tigray and Executive Committee member of the TPLF, tweeted on 30 May that “an offensive launched by Eritrea’s 57th and 21st divisions on the 24th of May was thwarted and the units deployed by the Isaias regime decimated after a successful counteroffensive by our forces around Adi Awalla, Tigray.” He also accused Eritrean forces of shelling “Sheraro in the 28th and 29th of May.”
Legesse Tulu (PhD), Minister of Government Communication Services, told BBC Amharic that he was not aware of the report, but said “we do not believe there will be a war from the Eritrean side.” Furthermore, Legesse accused Tigrayan forces of what might have been a provocation that was responded to by Eritrean forces; he added that the report could be an accusation by the “TPLF after it provoked [it] itself.”
The minister accused Tigrayan forces of working to instigate conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea by provoking such situations because the TPLF “wants to drag both countries into conflict”
However, in a separate statement given to Al Ain later on, Legesse is quoted as saying the TPLF had perpetrated the conflict and its militias “suffered many casualties,” as a result.
The minister accused Tigrayan forces of working to instigate conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea by provoking such situations because the TPLF “wants to drag both countries into conflict,” the news portal further quoted him as saying. Legesse added that “this will never happen,” and that the federal government has information on the current situation in the area.
On the contrary, Getachew’s statement accused Eritrea of stopping at “nothing to drag the region into an interminable conflict and sabotage…real or perceived effort at peace.”
So far there is no official statement from the Eritrean side on the matter. AS