Residents of the Tigray region in northern Ethiopia have blocked military trucks that have been withdrawing from the border with Eritrea.
It is the second time they have prevented the armored military vehicles from leaving the border areas.
Last month Ethiopia announced it had started withdrawing its troops from disputed territories along the border with Eritrea as part of the peace deal signed last July between the two countries.
The agreement ended two decades of a bitter border dispute (read more on its impact on page 4).
Angry youth in Tigray region have questioned the movement of troops saying they need clarity about regional security once the military leaves.
They blocked the military trucks from leaving Shire on Wednesday. Similar move made trucks to stop at Zalambessa town where they had been stationed.
Defense force convoys are reportedly to be parked at Shire stadium.
But regional president DrDebretsionGebremichael urged residents not to block the military’s movements, saying it could lead to conflict.
“People should not be disturbed by this,” he told regional media, adding the military move was legitimate.
The incidents are the latest stand-off between residents and leaders of the region and the new government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
Prime Minister Abiy was asked about it when he had a meeting with teachers from across the country on Saturday.
He said people in Tigray have every right to ask what government is doing and they should also know that Ethiopians would respond if there is any attack against Tigray.
But, he continued, it is not right they blocked the mobility of forces as government is the only entity that has an absolute power to move around soldiers on the basis of security and defense needs.
Tigray is run by the once-powerful Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), whose leaders accuse Abiy’s administration of targeting their community. (Daily Monitor)