Ethiopia’s Tigray rebels have said they are withdrawing from parts of the neighboring Amhara region, which they entered shortly after renewed hostilities broke out with federal government forces in August.
In a statement, the leadership of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) described the move as a “tactical” redeployment of its forces and said it was necessary to counter an “invasion” from the north.
The fresh fighting has seen Eritrea renew its involvement in the war, on the side of Ethiopia’s federal government. Last month the Tigray forces said Eritrea had launched a “full-scale” offensive across the region’s northern border.
“Accordingly, we have made geographical adjustments by withdrawing from Amhara areas we had entered in the direction of the south,” the latest TPLF statement said.
It added that the withdrawal had been underway for three days and could be reversed if pro-government forces made further attacks on the southern fronts.
Separately, Tigray spokesman Getachew Reda said on Twitter that his region’s forces had inflicted “tens of thousands” of losses on pro-government units.
VOA was unable to verify these claims. The areas affected by the fighting are mostly cut off from phone and internet access, and journalists are currently barred from travelling there.
Ethiopia’s federal government has remained tight-lipped amid the recent fighting and has not commented on the Tigray force’s latest statement.
Eritrean forces fought alongside Ethiopia’s federal forces when the Tigray conflict first broke out in November 2020, before they were both forced to withdraw in June 2021.
Asmara’s re-entry into the conflict has drawn international condemnation.