Sudan, Ethiopia hold border talks; area near Tigray contested

Two-day talks come every week after Ethiopian forces reportedly ambushed Sudanese troops, killing 4 and wounding greater than 20.

Sudan and Ethiopia have began their talks within the Sudanese capital Khartoum to demarcate their border, as Addis Ababa mentioned incidents in a disputed space jeopardised in any other case pleasant ties between the neighbours.

Recent violence “did not resemble the cordial relation that exists between our two countries”, Ethiopia’s deputy prime minister and international minister, Demeke Mekonnen, mentioned on Tuesday.

“It is endangering the agreements we have reached to maintain the status quo,” he mentioned, based on the opening remarks distributed by Ethiopia’s embassy in Khartoum.

The two-day talks within the capital got here every week after Ethiopian forces reportedly ambushed Sudanese troops alongside the border, leaving 4 lifeless and greater than 20 wounded.

Sudan has since deployed troops to the al-Fashaqa border area, the location of sporadic clashes.

The most contested area there’s a 250-square-kilometre (100-square-mile) space the place Ethiopian farmers domesticate fertile land on territory claimed by Sudan.

The space borders Ethiopia’s troubled Tigray area, the place combating broke out early final month, inflicting tens of 1000’s of Ethiopians to flee and cross into Sudan.

But Demeke mentioned since final month, Ethiopia noticed “organised attacks by the Sudanese military forces using heavy machine guns” and armoured convoys alongside the border.

He mentioned the forces had looted Ethiopian farmers’ agricultural merchandise, vandalised their camps and hampered their harvesting. “A number of civilians have been murdered and wounded,” he mentioned.

‘Amicable solution’

Demeke known as for “reactivating the existing mechanisms and finding an amicable solution” whereas warning in opposition to “unnecessary escalation”.

Addis Ababa had beforehand downplayed final week’s reported ambush, saying it didn’t threaten the connection between the 2 nations.

A international ministry spokesman in Addis Ababa instructed the AFP information company Ethiopian safety forces “repelled a group of (Sudanese) low-ranking officers and farmers, who had encroached on Ethiopian territory”.

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and his Ethiopian counterpart Abiy Ahmed on Sunday agreed to the talks on the margins of a Djibouti summit of regional bloc the Intergovernmental Authority on Development.

Sudan’s minister in control of the cupboard, Omar Manis, led the Sudanese delegation on Tuesday.

Sudan and Ethiopia share a 1,600km (almost 1,000-mile) frontier, with conferences on border demarcation beforehand held between 2002 and 2006.

In 1902, a deal to attract up the border was struck between Great Britain, the colonial energy in Sudan on the time, and Ethiopia, however the settlement lacked clear demarcation traces.

The final Sudan-Ethiopia border talks have been held in May in Addis Ababa, however one other assembly scheduled for the next month was cancelled.