The Eritrean government has just issued a statement confirming the heavy fighting on the border with Ethiopia.

Fighting broke out between Ethiopian and Eritrean armies on Sunday, as HornAffairs reported earlier.

The conflict is on Tsorena area, though it expanded eastwards later in the day.

Locals in Sheraro and Badme areas told HornAffairs movement of mechanized units but no fighting yet.

In a statement issued less than an hour ago, minutes before midnight, the Eritrean Information ministry said:

The [Ethiopian] regime has today, Sunday 12 June 2016, unleashed an attack against Eritrea on the Tsorona Central Front. The purpose and ramifications of this attack are not clear. The Government of Eritrea will issue further statements on the unfolding situation. (Ministry of Information, Asmara, 12 June 2016)

Asmara didn’t provide further details.

Addis Ababa has been tight-lipped on the matter throughout the day.

One hypothesis about the cause of the fighting – which we mentioned earlier – is an alleged attack by Eritrean army on Ethiopian troops while the latter were holding a football match among Brigades. However, we learned in the evening that the football match took place about ten days ago.

HornAffairs learned from an officer in the area that the Eritreans ambushed an Ethiopian army reconnaissance team “weeks ago”. The officer speculated that might have triggered an Ethiopian counter attack.

HornAffairs could not ascertain which side started Sunday’s fighting. But it was going on at least until around 6:30 pm.


Read the latest post: Ethiopia-Eritrea clash: What we know and what we think we know

Daniel Berhane

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