Ethiopia says Eritrea-backed fighters surrender

Tigray People’s Democratic Movement (TPDM) says 800 of its fighters have turned in their weapons and surrendered to authorities

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Ethiopian Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn Boshe.

Updated Sep 18, 2015

Ethiopia's foreign ministry reported on Tuesday that hundreds of Ethiopian fighters have left their base in Eritrea, handed over their weapons and surrendered to the authorities.

The foreign ministry stated that the Tigray People’s Democratic Movement (TPDM) leader Mola Asgedom and nearly 800 fighters crossed to Ethiopia on Sunday.

TPDM leader Mola told the state-run Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation that "We came to the conclusion that an armed struggle was meaningless," adding that the group had been in contact with Addis Ababa for over a year before deserting.

"Bringing about good governance and democracy to Ethiopia were the main objective of our armed struggle," said Mola. 

"We have also come to realise the economic progress Ethiopia has achieved and the destabilising agenda espoused by the Eritrean regime and other groups." 

TPDM said that it started a rebellion 14 years ago intending to establish a popular democratic government in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa.

Ethiopian government called the group puppets acting under the orders of Eritrea, with whom Ethiopia has a long-standing dispute.

During 1990’s, both countries fought a 2 year war. Since then, both Ethiopia and Eritrea have accused each other of backing armed groups trying to destabilise the other's government.

Citing a decision by Hague-based boundary commission in 2012, Eritrea wants Ethiopia to pull their troops out of the disputed area of Badme before normalising relations.


TRTWorld and agencies