Sudan, Ethiopia in Border Row

The Sudanese military accused Ethiopian forces of threatening its forces and civilians for the second time in a week near a tense border area on Tuesday.

The Sudanese army responded with rockets fired into Ethiopian territory, indicating a threat of an escalation in the decades-long border dispute.

Ethiopia denied having attacked its border with Sudan, but blamed the dispute on rebels from the Tigray region.

According to a statement from the Sudanese military, the forces advanced towards Saqi’ah area, east of Barkat Noreen to “clear the area from ambushes and threats from the Ethiopian forces to ensure the harvest season is well protected.”

Six members of the Sudanese army were killed and over 31 were wounded in an attack in the fertile agricultural area of Al-Fashqa, which the Sudanese army, in a statement on Sunday, blamed on Ethiopian-linked armed groups and militias.

However, Ethiopia’s government spokesman Legisi Tolo denied reports that the Ethiopian army had attacked Sudan on Sunday, saying they were “unfounded”.

“A large group of rebels, bandits and terrorists have entered (from Sudan),” he added. “The Ethiopian National Defence Force and the local militia have eliminated them.”

Tigray Liberation Front is conducting training in Sudan and receiving support from “foreign sponsors,” he said.

“There are lands invaded by the Sudanese forces. The government is seeking to settle (the conflict) by a peaceful process through dialogue and negotiation,” he added.

Ethiopian farmers have been cultivating the Al-Fashaqa area for years, which the Sudan claims is its territory.

In November 2020, as Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed sent federal forces to Tigray to combat the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, Khartoum sent its troops to Al-Fashqa, a move Addis Ababa considered provocative.

Demarcation of the border has been delayed for nearly a century between this area and the Amhara region of Ethiopia.

Lt-Gen Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, the Chairman of the Sovereign Council and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, on Monday, during a visit to the troops stationed in the Barakat Noreen area, in Al-Fashqa in the state of Gedaref, said though Sudan is committed to good neighbourly relations with Ethiopia, it will not surrender any part of its land and its troops are ready to defend the country against any provocation.

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