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Ethiopia, Sudan to continue border discussion in Addis Ababa

Ethiopia continues to adhere to diplomatic solution resolve invasion from Sudan, to recover Ethiopian territories

Border area between Ethiopia and Sudan (google map)

January 5, 2021 

The Latest weekly brief from the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, Ambassador Dina Mufti, on Tuesday revealed that Sudan and Ethiopia are to continue discussing the border issue in Addis Ababa. The time frame for it is not, however, disclosed. 

A High level political committee from the two countries met in Sudanese capital, Khartoum, after Sudanese forces invaded Ethiopia occupying up to 40 kilometers of Ethiopian territories in some areas of North Western Ethiopia.  The land that Sudanese force occupied lately has been cultivated by Ethiopian farmers. 

The Sudanese invasion came as Ethiopia was undertaking law enforcement operations against Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). 

Ethiopia resorted to diplomatic effort to resolve the situation. For Ethiopia, there is a third-party behind the move to invade Ethiopian land — a party that is interested in seeing the two countries in war. Sudan denied invading Ethiopian territories.

“Ethiopia wants to redouble its efforts to translate the strong bilateral relation with Sudan into more strategic cooperation,” said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in its weekly brief citing that “the Minister for Transport has visited Sudan to discuss with her Sudanese counterpart the cooperation projects on port utilization and railway development.” 

Ethiopia insists that “the issue should only be solved through dialogue,” and pointed out that undertaking agricultural activity along the border between the two countries will be difficult if peace in the region is derailed. 

Sudan has been a key partner to Ethiopia in the region for a long time, and had a cooperative sentiment towards Ethiopia’s mega project the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). But that seems to be changing. This week Sudan skipped a tripartite meeting after accepting a document proposed by African Union experts.  

Meanwhile, the Sudan Tribune reported on Tuesday that Ethiopia deployed troops to the border area between the two countries with the aim to block border crossing to Sudan. 

The source cited what it called an eyewitness account to report that “The Ethiopian army began closing the borders with Sudan, deploying troops, patrolling the border and building a fence to prevent refugees from reaching Hamdayet camp.” It also embedded a narrative that “the TPLF fighters continue to resist in several areas triggering new waves of refugees.”

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