“There are no formal agreements so far between the two countries as far as withdrawing troops is concerned” – Ethiopia Defense Minister
BY DAWIT ENDESHAW | THE REPORTER
Ethiopia denies news reports of withdrawing its troops from the highly militarized areas along the Eritrean border.
Over the week, it was reported that Ethiopian troops are withdrawing from Shiraro, an important front in the bloody Ethio-Eritrea war and close to Badme. Military trucks and public transport buses were said to be seen transporting Ethiopian troops from the area.
This information of Ethiopian troops withdrawing from the area is not true, Motumma Mekassa, Minister of Defense, told The Reporter. However, he did not deny the fact that there was some movement of troops in Shiraro Front.
“This is just a normal routine for our military, nothing else,” he said.
The peace deal between the two countries was brought forward by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed during his acceptance speech back in April. He expressed his keen interest to end the enmity between the two countries.
Following this, his party: Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), issued a statement saying that it is ready to fully implement the Algiers Accord and the Boundary Commission’s decision in connection to the disputed territories. This was also welcomed by the Eritrean government which sent its delegation to Addis Ababa, shortly.
Foreign Minister Osman Saleh and Political Advisor to President Isaias, Yemane Gebreab, were the first Eritrean officials to visits Ethiopia after more than two decades.
The euphoria went to the next level with the visit of PM Abiy to Asmera, and Isaias to Addis Ababa.
Following those series of exchange of gestures and settlement of peace between the two countries; there have been a number of reports by international media outlets about withdrawing of troops by either of the two countries.
In the same token, there have been social media reports claiming Ethiopia is withdrawing its troops.
Without denying the fact that there was a movement of troops in Shiraro front, Motumma said; “there are no formal agreements so far between the two countries as far as withdrawing troops is concerned.”
Repeated attempts to reach Yemane Gebreab did not materialize until press time.