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News: US sanctioned Eritrean military leader visits Ethiopian intelligence, security facilities to “consolidate military ties”

Worku Gachana, head of Ethiopian Artificial Intelligence Institute (Left), General Abraha Kassa, head of Eritrean National Security Agency (Right) Picture: Yemane G. Meskel/twitter

Addis Abeba – A delegation of Eritrean army generals and senior officials led by General Abraha Kassa, head of Eritrean National Security Agency who was sanctioned by the US government in September 2021 paid unprecedented official visit to Ethiopia on Monday state media reported. 

The delegates have visited Ethiopia’s Information Network Security Agency (INSA), the Artificial Intelligence Inistitute and the Federal police headquarters among other development projects including the GERD, according to Eritrea’s Information Minister Yemane G/Meskel.

Yemane tweeted that the “central purpose of the current visit is to further consolidate the close ties of military cooperation that exist between the two countries” adding that the visit was made on the invitation of the Ethiopian Defense Forces.

The head of the delegation general Abraha Kassa along other two individuals, the Eritrean Government and the leading People’s Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ) has been designated as “responsible for or complicit in, or who has directly or indirectly engaged or attempted to engage in, any activity contributing to the crisis in northern Ethiopia”, and was sanctioned by the US in 2021.

Subsequently, the Ethiopian government denounced the announcement and asked the United States government to revoke its decision to impose sanctions on Eritrea.

Eritrean forces who fought alongside Ethiopian federal army and allied militias in the two years war in Tigray, Amhara and Afar regions have been accused of committing atrocities against civilians from the start of the war in November 2020.

Only weeks before the Pretoria cessation of hostilities agreement reached between Ethiopian government and the TPLF, rights group Amnesty International said the Eritrean troops extrajudicially killed at least 40 people in Sheraro town, in North Western Zone of the Tigray region between 06 and 12 September 2022.

In February last year, two months after the peace deal was signed Addis Standard reported that families of 10 youths who were abducted by Eritrean troops from Gure Endagabir, a place near Axum city, on 18 January 2023 were in deep distraught about the whereabouts of their sons.

It is to be recalled that on 20 March, 2023 the U.S. said it has determined that members of the Eritrean Forces along with members of Ethiopian National Defense Forces and Amhara forces have committed “crimes against humanity” in the Tigray region, whereas all sides have committed “war crimes” during Ethiopia’s two years war. AS

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