Changes in military deployment among belligerents

Tigrayan source, 14 January 2023

• Around the beginning of January Eritrean forces withdrew from Nebelet to Edaga Arbi. Following this, Ethiopian forces moved in and occupied Nebelet. Later the Eritreans changed their minds and tried to move back into Nebelet. This resulted in cross-fire between Ethiopian and Eritrean forces on 5 January 2023 and ended with Eritrean troops taking Nebelet by force.

• Ethiopian forces started moving into Hawzien with the good will of the Tigray Defence Forces [TDF]. But Eritrean forces also tried to follow the footsteps of the Ethiopian army and move into Hawzien. Ethiopian forces halted their movement into Hawzien. It is unclear if this is because of the Eritreans ‘dangerous’ maneuvers.

• Eritrean forces built fortifications around Sero and remained there for a long time. TDF occupied the high ground nearby. The Eritrean forces moved to change position and attempted to take areas beyond Sero. But TDF quickly moved into the areas that the Eritreans were attempting to take. TDF then took areas of Sero which the Eritrean forces were occupying, preventing the latter from returning to their former position. This has caused the Eritreans to withdraw from Sero. Ethiopian forces are occupying areas around Dibdibo.

• There is ‘good trust and an exchange of information’ between TDF and the Ethiopian army, especially around central and eastern zones.