Sudan: negotiations on Tuesday on the border with Ethiopia

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Negotiations between Sudan and Ethiopia on the route of their border will take place on Tuesday, a week after an armed clash that claimed the lives of four Sudanese soldiers, the office of Sudanese Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok said on Sunday.

“Mr. Hamdok and his Ethiopian counterpart Abiy Ahmed discussed Sunday the meeting of the committee on the drawing of the borders which will be held on December 22,” it said in the statement.

This meeting took place on the sidelines of the summit of the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD) which is being held Sunday in Djibouti. This body brings together seven East African countries.

The last meeting on the border line was held in May 2020 in Addis Ababa. A new meeting was due to take place a month later, but the session had been canceled. The rainy season also made it difficult to place border posts in this region on the borders of the two countries.

The border line agreement dates back to May 1902 between Great Britain and Ethiopia, but gaps persist on certain points, regularly causing incidents with Ethiopian farmers who come to cultivate in territory claimed by Sudan.

Sudan dispatched “significant military reinforcements” to the border days after an “ambush” by the Ethiopian army and militias against Sudanese soldiers, the official Suna news agency said on Saturday.

“The Sudanese armed forces continued to advance on the front lines inside Al Fashaqa” in Sudan, the Sudanese agency said.

The head of the Sudanese army, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhane, who also chairs the highest executive body in the country, went for three days to the place where the army lost four soldiers, including an officer, while 27 were injured, Sudanese media reported.

For its part, Addis Ababa was keen to downplay the importance of the ambush, saying that the incident did not threaten the relationship between the two countries. A spokesperson for the Ethiopian foreign ministry told AFP that Ethiopian security forces “had pushed back an encroachment on their territory led by junior officers and farmers.”

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