Addis Ababa — An Eritrean opposition group claims that the attack on tourists in the Afar region of Ethiopia, committed by Eritrea-based Ethiopian rebels, was coordinated by Eritrean intelligence.
The Red Sea Afar Democratic Organization (RSADO) claim the attack on 17 January in which five tourists were killed and four taken hostage, which the Afar Revolutionary Democratic Unity Front (ARDUF) has claimed responsibility for, was orchestrated by Eritrea.
The Ethiopian government blamed Eritrea for the incident, releasing a statement describing its “tolerance towards a regime that openly supports terrorist activity” as “wearing thinner by the day”.
Eritrea denies involvement.
ARDUF, a rebel group fighting for greater autonomy for the Afar region, released a statement on Sunday admitting to abducting two Germans and two Ethiopians but denied killing the five European tourists; blaming Ethiopian forces for their deaths during the fire fight.
In a statement, RSADO said its intelligence on ground has revealed that the assailants were trained and funded by the Eritrean government in Damqo, in the Danakil region.
It also claims that “the chief operators of this terrorist attack are Eritrea’s intelligence Chief Wedi- Ferow (in charge in Assab, Dankalia) and Colonel Debesay”, and that the attackers remain at large inside Eritrea, under the protection of the state .