ADDIS ABABA – The Ethiopian government has rejected reports alleging that it has intervened in the internal affairs of Sudan as baseless as the deadly fighting between two rival armed forces in the neighboring country entered its second week.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs says information circulating over social media claiming Ethiopia has intervened in the Sudanese internal affairs is untrue.
They are “not only baseless but a pure fabrication,” Ambassador Meles Alem, spokesman of the Foreign Ministry, told a state-owned Ethiopian News Agency, today.
“Ethiopia believes that the people of Sudan have the wisdom and ability to solve the current problem, and what is needed is a Sudanese-owned solution to Sudan’s problem,” the Spokesperson added.
The comments come after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed gave a warning to some parties to stop trying to incite conflict between Ethiopia and Sudan at a time both countries face challenges of their own.
PM Denies Ethiopian troops entering Sudan
In a statement issued in Arabic, the PM said some people “were disseminating allegations to gain political mileage at a time the Ethiopian and Sudanese peoples are facing many challenges”.
The reports alleged that Ethiopian forces entered al-Fashaga to regain control of the disputed but fertile al-Fashaga area earlier this week.
“We strongly condemn these allegations that are aimed at marring the cordial relations and neighborliness between Ethiopia and Sudan,” Abiy said.
The two countries previously held regular discussions to resolve their dispute over the al-Fashaga triangle through their joint boundary commission and technical committees.
These negotiations, however, stalled after the Sudanese army occupied the disputed area at the start of the Northern Ethiopia Conflict in November 2021.
Following several skirmishes at their border, Addis Ababa and Khartoum last December agreed to return to negotiating table to resolve the dispute.
“We strongly believe that the border issue between the two sister countries will be resolved through dialogue and discussions,” PM Abiy said.
“Ethiopia values brotherhood, good neighborliness between our two countries, and does not want to exploit the current circumstances in Sudan,” he said. “At the same time, we are also seeing that these sides are working at full speed to incite Sudan to send its troops inside the Ethiopian border.”
The PM has also expressed his “full trust” on the brotherly Sudanese people “not heed to such claims, and seek to stand with the Ethiopian people who value good neighbors,” stressing his “government’s priority is peace.”
Govt ‘closely following the situation of Citizens‘
The battles between Sudan’s army and the powerful paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) are still going on in Khartoum and elsewhere even despite a three-day truce to enable people to celebrate Eid.
Several countries are trying to evacuate their citizens, but the fighting that led to the closure of the International Airport in the capital has hampered their plans.
Ethiopian too is closely following the situation of its citizens in Sudan in view of the current state of affairs in the neighboring country, says the spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry.
The Embassy in Khartoum together with the Foreign Ministry is working to protect the safety of Ethiopians in Sudan, as per Ambassador Meles. To that end, a national task force has been formed with representatives drawn from relevant sectors and regional states bordering Sudan.
The Foreign Ministry will provide further information regarding Ethiopians in Sudan on a timely basis, he adds.
Sudan has been run by a council of generals, led by the leader of the army and the head of the RSF since the 2021 coup.
The RSF is under the command of the council’s vice-president Gen Mohamed “Hamdati” Dagalo, while the army is led by its head Gen Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.
The fighting broke out in Khartoum on 15 April after disagreements emerged between the two Generals over security force reform.
More than 410 people have been killed in the conflict that derails an internationally-backed plan for the transition to civilian rule after the 2019 removal of Omar al-Bashir.
Mediators including those from the UN, African Union, and the regional IGAD bloc, have been trying to bring al-Burhan and Hemedti to the negotiating table.
So far, efforts have been in vain.