Why the TPLF went into war that caused the loss of lives of thousands of Tigreans is something that needs accountability, for Eritrean President Isaias Afeworki
Eritrean President Isaias Afeworki has an hour and twenty minutes long interview with the country’s state-owned television – EriTV.
The interview will have a second part.
According to an update from Eritrea’s Ministry of Information, the first part of his interview reflected on the three rounds of what he called a “reckless offensive.”
Pointing out that hundreds of thousands of its forces were killed in the war, the Eritrean president asked “why it was waged in the first place? ”
The Ministry of Information cited him as saying that “the TPLF had inculcated huge damage during its 27 years of repressive rule in Ethiopia. It was removed from power and subsequent 2018 Peace Agreement between Eritrea and Ethiopia had ushered in a period of hope and optimism in the region and beyond…These developments fostered anxiety in its handlers in Washington who nudged it to indulge in reckless military offensives.”
The other reason that compelled the TPLF to embark on war, according to president Afeworki, was “miscalculation on the balance of power.”
Before the outbreak of the war in 2020, the TPLF mobilized an army for years projecting the view that Tigray is under existential threat and surrounded by enemy forces – including Eritrea.
TPLF continues to accuse Eritrea of military presence in the Tigray region although the former’s forces are said to have withdrawn weeks ago.
Regarding the Pretoria Peace Agreement that “ended” the war between the Ethiopian government and TPLF, president Isaias said Eritrea has no reservations about it. However, he said it must be implemented in its entirety and that it “must be ascertained through meticulous monitoring.”
Another key point he raised is the question of accountability.
“The war has inculcated a huge loss of life as hundreds of thousands of Tigrayans were conscripted through various subterfuges. In this regard, the issue of accountability of the forces who instigated and pursued the war is of utmost importance,” he is quoted as saying.
Last week, President Isaias Afeworki was on a two-day working visit in Kenya where he signed a memorandum of understanding with President William Ruto. Visa waiver regime among the key issues. Thousands of Eritreans live and work in Kenya.
Eritrea, a country that has been under decades of the western-led embargo, has emerged as a key actor in the Horn of Africa after the fall of the TPLF government in 2018.
It is reactivating membership in IGAD. The country has established a friendly relation with Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia and Kenya.
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