The Eritrean Army has withdrawn from the Ethiopian Tigray Region, hoping to bring an end to a brutal two-year conflict that began in November 2020. Videos and pictures show a military convoy moving through Bouvard in an undisclosed location, with people standing by the road welcoming the Eritrean Defense Forces members and cheering on the soldiers as they wave the Eritrean flag. The Eritrean government had previously denied involvement in the war in Tigray, but the international community and Tigrayan authorities had condemned Eritrea for its alleged involvement.
This conflict between Eritrea and Ethiopia has deep roots. The two countries have a long history of tension, which came to a head in 1998 with the outbreak of a border war that lasted until 2000 and resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of people.
The war ended with the Algiers Agreement, which established a ceasefire and created a commission to demarcate the border. However, the border dispute remained unresolved and the two countries have had an uneasy relationship until 2018.
In November 2020,after the civil war ignited in Ethiopia, TPLF launched rockets at the Eritrean capital of Asmara, which led to the Eritrean Army entering Tigray, escalating the conflict.
After a two-year brutal civil war, TPLF and the Ethiopian government reached a cessation of hostilities in November 2022 in South Africa, followed by an agreement in Kenya. The agreement included TPLF demobilizing its combatants and disarming them, concurrent with the withdrawal of non-ENDF forces from Tigray, including the Eritrean Army and Amhara militants. According to sources from Ethiopia, TPLF has begun the disarmament process, and now the EDF is leaving the region.
The reports of EDF withdrawal from Tigray on January 20 have sparked mixed reactions among social media users of both Eritreans and TPLF supporters.