Ethiopian troops decamp posts at Eritrea border

Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki (second from left) and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (third from left) celebrate New Year on September 11, 2018 with soldiers at the border

by Engidu Woldie
ESAT News (December 14, 2018)

Ethiopia says it has moved troops away from the border with Eritrea saying there is no more threat from the former foe, five months after the two Horn of Africa countries signed a peace declaration ending two decades of stand off.

In a press conference with local journalists that was aired by Fana Broadcasting Corporate, chief of the western command, Major General Asrat Denero said they had confidence in the peace between the two countries as the governments and peoples on both sides had shown commitment to peaceful coexistence.

“There is no point keeping our soldiers at the border with Eritrea,” and “it had also become necessary to relocate them to other locations,” Maj. Ge. Denero said.

The two countries fought trench style border war in 1998-2000 that claimed as many as 70,000 lives.

In July, Ethiopia announced that it would fully accept the decision of the border commission that was stalled for 18 years. Also in July, a peace declaration was signed by Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, who is credited for initiating peace overtures and rapprochement in the region, and Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki.

Ethiopia is also reorganizing its army, reducing the number of commands from six to four while also working to reestablish its once glorious navy.

A recent purge in the army was meant to balance the ethnic representation in the top leadership of the army that was overwhelmingly dominated by Tigrayans of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), who also had control over political power and intelligence.