The Eritrea Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday said it had summoned the UK Chargé d’affaires in Asmara for the second time “for stern message against continued and false accusations against Eritrea”.
Eritrea Minister of Information Yemane Meskel on X said “Whitehall had for years endorsed the Tigray People’s Liberation Front occupation of sovereign Eritrean territories in breach of [Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission] EEBC Award”, a position he said the diplomat appears to dwell on.
Asmara had in August last year summoned the diplomat over the same matter.
The Director General of Eritrea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned the envoy to “convey strong message to Whitehall on unwarranted remarks of [the] British Ambassador to Ethiopia during his recent visit to Mekelle apparently endorsing TPLF’s irredentist claims.”
At the time, a delegation led by UK Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa Sarah Montgomery accompanied by UK Ambassador to Ethiopia Darren Welch visited Tigray’s capital Mekelle, where on Tigrai TV, Ambassador Welch spoke on the need of the full implementation of the Pretoria Cessation of Hostilities Agreement.
The agreement, among others, calls for the withdrawal of foreign and non-Ethiopian National Defense Force forces from Tigray regional state.
Ambassador Welch said the UK backs “calls for Eritrean forces to withdraw completely back to their own borders”.
“The Pretoria agreement is very clear in calling for Eritrean forces to leave all Ethiopian territory, and here in Tigrai of course. And the United Kingdom wants that to happen,” said.
The envoy added that the UK would “seriously follow” the full implementation of the Pretoria Cessation of Hostilities Agreement signed between Ethiopia government and the TPLF.
Eritrean troops supported Ethiopian forces during the federal government’s two-year war against TPLF, and human rights groups and locals say they remain in Tigray more than an year since the war stopped. They also accuse them of murder, rape and looting, among other human rights violations.
In February 2023, Eritrea President Isaias Afwerki dismissed accusations of rights abuses by Eritrean troops in Tigray as “fantasy” during his visit to Kenya.