The Ethiopian Air Force carried out some sort of air raid on Thursday in the Tigray region, even though the government maintained it had nothing to do with the Horn of Africa country’s recent regional tensions.
Ethiopia has been accused of opening a new front in its war of words with Eritrea, which it accuses of supporting rebel fighters in its remote southeast Ogaden region. Eritrea calls this a diversionary tactic, and says its military support is limited. But what worries the rest of Africa and the world is how Ethiopia could ratchet up the tension.
A year ago, the two countries finally resolved a long-running border dispute after troops clashed and traded rocket attacks in the jungle and the Red Sea. However, their leaderships have gotten into shouting matches since that cease-fire was signed in Eritrea’s capital, Asmara, and the two sides have traded accusations of support for fighting in Ogaden and beyond.
Some soldiers from Tigray are reported to have fought in the conflict and about 300 civilians reportedly fled the area in May following airstrikes by aircraft.
Ethiopia’s government said in a statement on its state-run radio on Wednesday that some soldiers had defected and launched an attack in Tigray on Tuesday. Ethiopian commandos killed the militants, the government said, although it did not release details. On Thursday, it struck some insurgent positions again.
There was no confirmation of the attack from Eritrea.