UN report: Eritrea-backed rebel TPDM has tens of thousands fighters
United Nations’ report indicated that Eritrea continued propping up Tigrai People’s Democratic Movement (TPDM) in violation of Security Council resolution 1907 (2009).
The latest report of the UN Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea, released last week, depicts TPDM (a.k.a. “Demhit”) as the strongest among Eritrea-based Ethiopian rebel groups with around 20,000 fighters.
The UN monitors learnt from multiple sources that “weapons in the logistics department of Eritrea Defence Forces (EDF) are being systematically transferred to TPDM. The report added:
“A reliable former senior Eritrean military source told the Group that he was informed by his former colleagues that the following weapons had been transferred from EDF to the TPDM in autumn 2013, most likely during the month of September: sniper rifles, Walther PP semi-automatic pistols, Doshkas, Tokarev T pistols, and binoculars”.
TPDM (a.k.a. “Demhit”) was founded in 2001, immediately after the end of the Ethio-Eritrea border war, when Asmara’s decided to continue the war by proxy. Its members are drawn from the northern region, Tigrai. While Ethiopian officials often claim TPDM is mostly consisted of fugitives and mercenaries, the report describes them as “dissidents from Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF)” – the regional wing of the Ethiopian ruling part. Read more