The Ethiopian National Defense Force will take over the surveillance of the border areas immediately, Abiy said.
Thousands of civilians are believed to have been killed since November, when Abiy launched a major military operation against Tigray’s ruling party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), dispatching national troops and fighters from Ethiopia’s Amhara region.
Abiy claimed on Friday that the TPLF had provoked Eritrea’s military involvement by firing rockets at its capital, Asmara, and thereby inciting the Eritrean government to “maintain its national security.”
“Reports indicate that atrocities have been committed in the Tigray region,” Abiy wrote in a post on his Twitter account. “Regardless of the TPLF’s hype propaganda, any soldier responsible for raping our women and looting communities in the region will be held accountable for their mission to protect.”
Abiy received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019 for resolving a long-running conflict with neighboring Eritrea, which ended two decades of hostilities. Critics say the acclaimed Abiy peace agreement with Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki laid the foundation for the two sides to wage war against the TPLF, their mutual enemy.
On Monday, the Eritrean embassy of the United Kingdom and Ireland responded to repeated requests for comment from CNN denying allegations of wrongdoing by Eritrean soldiers and denying that Eritrean troops were in Ethiopia.
CNN’s Gianluca Mezzofiore, Katie Polglase, Nima Elbagir, Barbara Arvanitidis, and Alex Platt contributed to this report.