Apr 4, 2021 - World

Ethiopia says Eritrean forces have begun withdrawing from Tigray

A young man picks up rubble in a classroom
A youngster arranges books at a looted classroom at Ksanet Junior Secondary School in Wukro, an Ethiopian town, on March 1. Photo: Eduardo Soteras/AFP via Getty Images

Eritrean forces began withdrawing from Ethiopia's northern Tigray region on Saturday, the Ethiopian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Why it matters: Opposition forces claimed in February that at least 50,000 civilians had been killed in the conflict that has now stretched for five months. Soldiers from neighboring Eritrea are accused of rape and destroying crops, per Human Rights Watch, and have systematically killed civilians, according to Amnesty International.

Driving the news: The foreign chiefs of the U.S., France, Germany, and other G7 countries on Friday welcomed Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's announcement and condemned "human rights abuses committed by all parties" in the conflict.

  • "We are concerned about worsening food insecurity, with emergency conditions prevailing across extensive areas of central and eastern Tigray," the statement said.

The big picture: The conflict between Ethiopia's federal government and leaders in the northern Tigray region is part of a broader struggle over who really holds power in Ethiopia, writes Axios' Dave Lawler.

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