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Ethiopia Conflict: Tigray accuses Eritrea of involvement

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The president of Tigray the northern regional state of Ethiopia, Debretsion Gebremichael has accused Eritrea of supporting the military onslaught of the Ethiopian federal government in their region.

The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) accused Eritrean forces of entering Tigray on November 9.

"We have been suspecting and expecting Isayas's forces (Isayas Afwerki, President of Eritrea) to join him (Abiy Ahmed Prime Minister of Ethiopia) and it (Eritrea) has started taking military action since yesterday" Debretsion Gebremichael, President of Tigray region said at a news briefing.

He accused Eritrean forces of using heavy weaponry in Baeker and surrounding areas. "Isayas's forces' used heavy weaponry and they fired at Humera so that our people will be shocked, so that our people would panic, so that our people would scatter. To support Abiy's force on the Amhara side, he (Isayas Afwerki) began action backed with heavy weaponry from behind us as we were fighting in front of us. Therefore the war has now progressed to a different stage." Gebremichael claimed.

Eritrea’s foreign minister Osman Saleh Mohammed has denied the accusation.

The TPLF was part of Ethiopia’s minoritarian ruling coalition until Abiy’s appointment in 2018. Tensions between the TPLF and Abiy’s administration have escalated in recent months.

Abiy, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019, ordered air strikes and sent troops into Tigray last week after accusing the TPLF of attacking a military base. 

Tigrayans say Abiy's government oppresses and discriminates against them and behaved autocratically in postponing a national election. 

Tigray has a population of about 9 million people.

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