TPLF: We will fight on until Eritrean soldiers withdraw from Tigray

A fighter loyal to the Tigray People's Liberation Front mans a guard post on the outskirts of the town of Hawzen, controlled at the time by the group, in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia, May 7, 2021.

ADDIS ABABA - The Tigray People's Liberation Front [TPLF] has vowed to keep on fighting in defense of their territory despite the recently signed peace deal, noting that this will happen until the Ethiopian government confirms the withdrawal of Eritrean troops from most parts of northern Ethiopia.

In Nairobi last week, the recently signed deal spelled out the withdrawal of "foreign" troops from the region, an indication that top commanders from the warring parties agreed to have the Eritrean soldiers out as part of the process to stabilize the country which has been at war for two years.

Apparently, this was the first admission that indeed there are foreign soldiers in the Horn of Africa nation, with Addis Ababa and Eritrea disowning their presence all the time. Throughout this period, TPLF has been insisting on the presence of soldiers from neighboring Eritrea.

On Friday, Getachew Reda, the spokesperson of TPLF, insisted that the Eritrean troops are responsible for
for killing civilians, and carrying out rampant looting and destruction in Tigray, in the latest bombshell which could potentially dismantle the peace deal that was signed in South Africa and Kenya.

He said that the Tigrean fighters will not lay down arms until the Ethiopian government confirms the withdrawal of Eritrea and other forces from the region. Besides the presence of Eritrean troops, TPLF also insists Amhara and Afar regional militias have been operating within the Tigray region.

For two years, the war between Ethiopian National Defense Forces [ENDF] and TPLF has led to the killing of thousands of people besides triggering mass displacement of people from their homes. The Tigray region has been in a total blackout including a lack of basic services such as banking.

The international community, TPLF says, should keep an eye on the implementation of the peace deal by encouraging the Ethiopian government to compost with the agreement. Reda encouraged the community to assist Ethiopia to overcome the challenges which also tore the country apart.

"It’s our hope and expectation that the international community plays its role to support the parties to the recent peace agreement to keep their respective ends of the commitment. Congressman Brad Sherman is obviously doing his part, " said Reda, who was part of TPLF representative in the peace deal.

The US has already threatened to take action against those who may derail the implementation of the peace deal, noting that both parties should respect the peace accord signed by Nairobi. The government of Ethiopia has already pledged to facilitate the implementation of the deal.


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