Eritrean forces have started withdrawing from the Tigray region in northern Ethiopia, the Ethiopian Foreign Ministry said, following mounting reports blaming the Eritreans for human rights abuses including rape, looting and killings of civilians.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed also described an upsurge of fighting in recent days, against “enemies” he said were mingling with the civilian population.
The United States, Germany, France and other G7 countries called on Friday for a swift, unconditional and verifiable withdrawal of the Eritrean soldiers, followed by a political process acceptable to all Ethiopians.
For months, Eritrea and Ethiopia denied the presence of Eritrean troops despite dozens of eyewitness accounts. On March 23, Ethiopia’s Abiy acknowledged their presence. Eritrea has still not acknowledged its soldiers are in Ethiopia and denies responsibility for abuses there.