AU Envoy in Khartoum to Defuse Ethio-Ethiopia Border Tension

ADDIS ABABA – African Union special envoy to Sudan is in Khartoum to defuse mounting tensions between Sudan and Ethiopia, according to Sudanese state-owned Suna news agency.

The envoy, Ambassador Mohamed El Hacen Ould Lebatt, met Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and head of the Transitional Military Council (TMC), Lt-Gen Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Burhan.

AU’s envoyt also met Sudan’s first vice-president Lt Gen Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo.

Sudan invaded disputed territories while the government Ethiopia was bysing in a massive military operations launched against forces of the outlawed Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) in its northern state.

Ethiopia accused Sudanese army of looting properties, burned camps, attacked and displaced thousands of Ethiopians and controlled vacated Ethiopian Military Camps during their invasion that started Nov 6, 2020.

Sudanese officials admitted to taking fertile land previously held and administered by Ethiopia on the Al Fashaga triangle, but said its forces only reclaimed what was part of Sudanese territory.

Addis Ababa repeatedly urged Khartoum to stop violating the agreement signed between the two nations, keep the status quo and heed its requests to settle the issue peacefully.

The continued “escalation and provocative behavior” of  Sudanese army on the ground, however, has forced Ethiopia to condemn Sudan “in the strongest possible” on Thursday.

The two countries border initially demarcated by Britain, former colonizer of Sudan, without the presence of the Ethiopian side.  In 1972, the two African nations exchanged notes to renegotiate and re-demarcate the border, while maintaining the status quo, in order to settle the matter amicably.

Before the latest standoff, a joint boundary commission and technical committees held at least eight meetings to try to hammer out a solution to the problem.

“Ethiopia while reiterating its commitment for a peaceful settlement of the boundary issue, once again calls upon the Government of the Sudan to reverse the aggression, desist from provocation and resort to a peaceful settlement of the boundary issue,” its Foreign Ministry’s latest statement.

Earlier, Ethiopia said Sudan should pull its forces back from recently held territories and maintain the status quo as a precondition for the resumption of talks.

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