G-7 Nations Call for Swift Withdrawal of Eritrean Troops from Tigray

G-7 foreign ministers have called for a “swift, unconditional and verifiable” withdrawal of Eritrean troops from Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region.

The ministers of the world’s leading economies gathered Friday for an annual meeting in Berlin and issued a statement following a recent announcement from Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia that he has had discussions with the President of Eritrea and agreed that Eritrean forces will withdraw from Tigray soon.

“In our March 26, 2021 discussions with President Isaias Afwerki during my visit to Asmara, the government of Eritrea has agreed to withdraw its forces out of the Ethiopian border,” Abiy tweeted a statement.

G-7 ministers urged all parties to exercise “utmost restraint, ensure the protection of civilians and respect human rights and international law.”

The ministers of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United States, and the high representative of the European Union called for “the end of violence and the establishment of a clear, inclusive political process that is acceptable to all Ethiopians, including those in Tigray.”

The process has to lead “to credible elections and a wider national reconciliation process,” the statement said.

The ministers also expressed deep concern about recent reports on “human rights violations and abuses, and violations of international humanitarian law in Tigray.”

Abiy ordered Eritrean troops to move into Tigray in November to detain and disarm leaders of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, saying that the group was responsible for inciting attacks on federal army camps.

Both countries denied for several months that Eritrean troops had entered Tigray, contrary to accounts from diplomats, aid workers, residents, and even some Ethiopian officials.

The armed conflict in Tigray has taken thousands of people’s lives and forced hundreds of thousands to flee their homes. The region of more than 5 million people is facing shortages of food, water and medicine.?

Source: Voice of America

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