Sudan says 6 soldiers killed in Ethiopia’s border fighting, Ethiopia denies killing any.
Sudan’s armed forces said today that six of its forces were killed in fighting in the country’s border region with Ethiopia. It came a day after the military claimed that Ethiopian military and militia forces attacked the border area of al-Fashaqa, a disputed agricultural area that straddles the two countries.
But in the US-based pro-government ESAT TV report seen by NCMP, the Ethiopian army chief denied accusations that Ethiopian forces killed Sudanese soldiers at the border between the two countries.
Gen Birhanu Jula said there was no reason to attack Sudan and that the country was “not in a position” to carry out such attacks as it was fighting the rebels in the north
The two countries have been having a border dispute and ongoing disagreements over the shared waters of the Nile River.
The army chief said he hoped the issues could be resolved peacefully through dialogue.
The fighting is the latest turbulence for Sudan after generals deposed the country’s transitional civilian government in late October and arrested more than a hundred officials. Mass protests followed the coup, and the generals eventually reinstated Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok under military oversight amid international pressure. However many of the country’s pro-democratic forces continue to call for the military to release its grip on power.
Sudan had been struggling with its transition to a democratic government since the military overthrow of former autocrat Omar al-Bashir in 2019, following a mass uprising against three decades of his rule.
The decades-old dispute with Ethiopia centers on large swaths of farming land Sudan says are within its borders, according to an agreement that demarcated the line between the two nations in the early 1900s. The two nations have held rounds of talks, most recently in Khartoum last December, to settle the disagreement, but haven’t made progress.
Matters escalated late last year after Sudan deployed troops to al-Fashaqa, driving out Ethiopian farmers and militias in the area. At least 84 Sudanese troops were killed in clashes with Ethiopian forces and militias from November of last year till August, according to the military.
There was no immediate comment from Ethiopian authorities on Sudanese claims of the attack over the weekend. But Ethiopian officials have in the past accused Sudan of taking advantage of the conflict which erupted a year ago between the central government and the northern Tigray region.
On Thursday they tightly restricted reporting on the country’s war.
Sudan has also seen tribal violence in recent days in its south, sparking fears of a return to the all-out conflict there.
On Thursday, the UN’s office for the coordination of humanitarian affairs said that at least 43 people had been killed in inter-communal violence in Darfur and roughly 4,300 had fled their homes because of it.