Several newspapers referable to the international Catholic press have given reports of forced recruitment of young people in Eritrea, citing the testimony of Eritrean cleric Father Mussie Zerai. Particular mention was made of the incident that occurred last September 4 in the Catholic church of St. Savior in the city of Acrur, about 50 kilometers southeast of the capital Asmara, where in the early hours of dawn some military personnel allegedly showed up at the beginning of the church service and ordered the younger youths to follow them outside (

Once grouped in the open, the young men were loaded onto some military vehicles and driven to the barracks where they were allegedly forced to enlist.

The incidents, according to press reports, have been repeated for more than two years now in various locations in Eritrea and are allegedly motivated by the urgent need to reinforce the contingents currently engaged in the conflict in Eritrea, following the resumption of fighting on August 24. Many of the conscripts would be between the ages of 15 and 16, and thus below the age required for performing regular military service (

According to what had been written on Twitter by TPLF spokesman Gatachew Reda, Eritrean forces would continue the offensive launched against Tigray in late August, and would have reached the localities of Rama (about 50 km north of Adua), Zalambessa (about 60 km north of Adigrat) and further east Dallol. Intense artillery fire would also affect the town of Adigrat, which would be only partially under the control of TPLF forces (

The military operation conducted by Eritrean forces is also coupled by a simultaneous offensive launched by Ethiopian federal forces and those of the Amhara regional state, according to the TPLF.

Firm denial regarding Eritrea’s participation in the fighting comes instead from Asmara’s Minister of Information, Yemane Gebremeskel, who instead raises accusations against the TPLF by disclosing alleged documents leaked by Tigrinya forces, according to which the TPLF admits to having launched an offensive against the federal government, planning to attack Eritrea as well (


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