Ethiopia’s federal government has accused Tigrinya authorities of conducting forced recruitment among refugees – most of them ethnic Tigrayans – who have taken shelter in Sudan since the outbreak of the conflict. They were also joined, always according to Addis Ababa, by a group of former federal military unit mostly composed by Tigrinya once deployed as peacekeepers in the town of Abyei, South Sudan, who later defected as a result of the war.
Ethiopia has not openly accused Sudan of facilitating this forced recruitment process, although tensions between the two countries have been rising again for weeks as a result of Khartoum’s alleged support for Tigrinya militias.
TPLF spokesman Getachew Reda also confirmed that a group of former federal military defectors, who later transited into the ranks of Tigrinya forces, had allegedly crossed the Sudan-Ethiopia border and penetrated western Tigray, currently under occupation by forces from the Amhara regional state (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-09-02/ex-un-peacekeepers-battle-for-control-of-key-ethiopian-town).
Finally, on Sept. 7, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees also denounced the case of forced recruitment within the refugee camps present close to the Sudanese border, claiming to have received solid evidence of the fact and also conveying its concerns to the Sudanese government (https://sudantribune.com/article263751/).
Sudan has denied any allegations regarding support for the soldiers fighting alongside the TPLF and, in fear of escalation on its own territory, ordered in the first week of September the closure of the Hamdayet refugee reception center near the border (https://www.tesfanews.net/tigray-ex-un-peacekeepers-battle-control-humera-town/).
The Sudanese government also ordered the deployment of a substantial military reinforcement along its border with Ethiopia, pointing out how intense clashes had occurred in the previous days in the Dima and Qudimah areas, in the border area between Sudan, Ethiopia and Eritrea, where the government in Khartoum fears a significant portion of the intensity of the fighting that resumed at the end of August may be concentrated (https://www.agenzianova.com/news/etiopia-il-fronte-del-conflitto-si-sposta-verso-ovest-e-rischia-di-allargarsi-al-sudan/).