Army Chief Denies Military Aircraft Crossed Border into Sudan

ADDIS ABEBA – Ethiopia has denied a Sudanese allegation that an Ethiopian military aircraft crossed the border into Sudan.

Sudan said on Wednesday that the aircraft entered its airspace in a “dangerous and unjustified escalation” that “could have dangerous consequences, and cause more tension in the border areas”.

“The claim that our planes crossed the border is fabricated,” army chief of staff General Berhanu Jula said in an interview on Friday with Voice of America’s Amharic service.

General Berhanu said unnamed officials in the Sudanese government were trying to mislead the Sudanese and Ethiopian people into an “unwanted situation”.

Armed clashes erupted late last year over the course of a border that has been disputed for over a century. Britain unilaterally demarcated the border in 1903 and Ethiopia says some of its land ended up in what is now Sudan.

The two countries have recently held talks to agree where the border should run. But the talks collapsed after Sudanese forces occupied the farmlands displacing Ethiopian farmers starting from Nov 9, 2020.

Neighboring South Sudan has expressed its readiness to mediate the border dispute to end their border conflict.

Ethiopia wants Sudan to withdraw its troops from the land they invaded over since the start of November, 2020.

Ethiopian envoy to Sudan Yibeltal Aemro said the “recent intrusion by the Sudanese Army needs to be reversed and the pre-November 2020 status quo should be maintained as per the 1972 Exchange of Notes” late last week.