Ethiopian Security Kill and Capture Eritrean-Trained Rebels

TPDF + EPPF Rebel fightersEthiopian Police forces have killed 6 rebels and captured 12 in north Tigray along the Sudan border, according to a report by Sudan Tribune.

An unidentified Police officer revealed that the rebels, who are believed to have been trained in Eritrea, had crossed into Ethiopia through Sudan. The Police engaged the rebels in a gun battle in Humera town, killing 6 of them and capturing 12. The source also revealed that although interrogations are yet to be completed, the rebels are thought to have belonged to the Gambellan Democratic Movement.

The Gambellan Democratic Movement is made up of indigens of the Gambela region, western Ethiopia. The GDM is reportedly battling the Ethiopian government to prevent the sale of their ancestral land. There have been several clashes between Ethiopian security forces and Gambellan rebels, which has left hundreds dead and many more displaced.

Since the Ethiopia-Eritrea war (1998-2000) resulting from a territorial dispute, Ethiopian officials have accused Eritrea of supporting Ethiopian rebels. Ethiopian security officials have on numerous occasions apprehended terror suspects thought to have been trained in Eritrea. The Eritrean government is also accused of sponsoring Al Shabab.

According to pundits, Eritrean officials are not satisfied with the border arrangement after the nation’s short war with Ethiopia–they say it has illegally granted Ethiopia ownership of Eritrean land.

Although both Ethiopia and the UN have accused Eritrea of financing and arming rebels to destabilize Ethiopia, the Eritrean government strongly denies this.

According to the Sudan Tribune, the Police source revealed that the rebels in custody are also believed to have been dispatched by the Eritrean government to attack and destroy Ethiopia’s infrastructure, most presumably thorough an explosion.

Ethiopian authorities are noted to have threatened Eritrea with military action in the past, but pundits say it is extremely unlikely this dispute will degenerate into full blown conflict anytime soon.

Photo: Militias of the Ethiopian Alliance for Democratic Change celebrating a victory against the government.