NEW YORK, 6 March 2021 – The Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres has joined calls by growing numbers of countries for Eritrean forces to leave Ethiopia’s Tigray region.

Guterres is a late converter to the belief that Eritrean forces are fighting in Tigray.

UNSG Antonio Guterres - Photo Maseru Metro News

UNSG Antonio Guterres – Photo Maseru Metro News

UN Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric - Photo The Fortress

U.N. Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric – Photo The Fortress

Last December 9, the UN Secretary-General expressed doubts that Eritrea was meddling in Ethiopia.

“We have no proof of the presence of Eritrean troops inside Ethiopia,” said Guterres at the time, claiming that he raised the issue with the Ethiopian prime minister .

The UN boss said then that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali told him that the only area Eritrean forces were “corresponded to the disputed territory between the two countries that in the peace agreement was decided to give back to Eritrea”.

US Sec of State Antony Blinken - Photo Addis Standard

US Sec of State Antony Blinken – Photo Addis Standard

Guterres has changed his mind, joining the United States and the European Union in calls for Eritrean troops to leave Tigray.

When journalists asked Friday if the Secretary General of the UN was, indeed, “calling for Eritrean troops to leave Tigray”, UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric told journalists “Yes, yes”.

Dujarric also said the UN “fully supports” the statement made by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet calling for access to Tigray Regional state to probe possible war crime.

Michelle Bachelet - Photo Reuters

Michelle Bachelet – Photo Reuters

“Without prompt, impartial and transparent investigations and holding those responsible accountable, I fear violations will continue to be committed with impunity, and the situation will remain volatile for a long time to come,” Bachelet said in her statement.

Thousands of people have been killed in Tigray since the beginning of the armed conflict there last November 4.

Millions are internally displaced, facing famine, and as many as 100,000 Tigrayans have fled the fighting into refugee camps in neighboring Sudan.

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