Eritrea is bordered by Ethiopia to the south, where Tigrayan forces have been locked in conflict with government forces since 2020.
An advisor to the President of Tigray said Tuesday that Eritrea has launched a “full-scale offensive” along its border with northern Ethiopia.
“Eritrean forces have launched full scale offensive in all fronts today,” Getachew Reda said on Twitter.
“Eritrea is deploying its entire army, as well as reservists. Our forces are heroically defending their positions.”
Tuesday’s development would mark an escalation in a war-torn region. Millions have been displaced amid a humanitarian disaster across northern Ethiopia.
US Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa Mike Hammer on Tuesday confirmed and condemned Eritrea’s troop movement into Ethiopia’s Tigray region.
“We have been tracking Eritrean troops’ movement across the border … and we condemn it.”
Hammer made the comments after a trip to Ethiopia to help facilitate African Union-led peace talks between the Ethiopian government and Tigrayan forces, saying, “All external foreign actors should respect Ethiopia’s territorial integrity and avoid fueling the conflict.”
Conflict in Tigray
Eritrean forces fought on the side of Ethiopian federal troops in Tigray when war broke out in the region in November 2020. Eritrean forces withdrew from most areas last year.
Ethiopian forces have not commented on what role they are playing in the latest skirmishes. However, Tigrayan adviser Reda said that Eritreans are fighting alongside Ethiopian federal forces. This could not be independently verified.
The war in Ethiopia, between the federal government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), resumed on August 24, breaking a ceasefire in place since March of this year.
Earlier this month, Tigrayan forces said they were ready to lay down their arms again, adding they were open to an African Union-led peace process.