The Ethiopian government did not confirm that there was an incident this past Sunday along the Sudanese border
January 25, 2021
A report by Sudanese news source says that Ethiopian forces fired mortar on Sudanese reconnaissance along the border area but there was no casualty.
Sudan Tribune cited what it called Sudanese military sources to report that “Sudanese army troops patrolling the border came under mortar fire on Sunday from the Ethiopian federal army on the other side of the border.”
According to ST, the incident was in the Abdel -Rafi area.
Furthermore, it was said that the “Sudanese troops effectively responded to Ethiopian firing and there were no casualties on their side.”
From the ST, the alleged shelling is seen as “intentional and planned attack” and represent “escalation from the Ethiopian side.”
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia did not release any update regarding military engagement with Sudanese Forces along the Ethio-Sudan border.
Last week, spokesperson of the Ministry, Ambassador Dina Mufti, had a press briefing, and the Sudanese invasion was one of the things he talked about.
Sudanese leader, General Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman al-Burhan, claimed the Sudanese forces took control of Ethiopian territories with invitation from Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. And that is one of the issues that Ambassador Dina Mufti dismissed during his press briefing.
Ethiopia said, and this is confirmed by residents who are displaced by Sudanese incursions, the Sudanese forces took control of the Ethiopian territories (in some places up to 50 kilometers deep inside Ethiopia) when the Ethiopian army based in the area was withdrawn due to what the Ethiopian government called law enforcement operation in the Tigray region of Ethiopia.
“It was surprising to see the Sudanese military misconstruing the friendly talks for cooperation along the borderlines of Ethiopia as a green light to encroach into Ethiopian lands,” Ambassador Dina Mufti said, as reported by the MFAE, in connection with Sudanese claim that Ethiopian territory was occupied following consent from Ethiopian authorities.
Furthermore, he said that “it should be clear that our government is responsible and sensitive to the sovereignty of the country and could not agree, by any means, to let a third party occupy Ethiopian lands.”
Ethiopia has been pushing for a bilateral diplomatic solution to resolve the border issue with Sudan and declined a mediation involving a third party.
Last week, Let. General Abdelrahman al-Burhan reportedly said that he is open for negotiation but if it is happening, it will happen while his forces are occupying Ethiopian territory.
No diplomatic or political response is given to Al-Burhan’s position. However, the Chief of Staff of the Ethiopian Defense Force remarked that there is no such thing as negotiation while they are occupying our territories. “They have to withdraw from it.” Earlier in the week, he said that the Sudanese are getting caught by a trap set up by a third party interested in seeing them fighting Ethiopia, and they have to be determined to avoid that, he said.
Meanwhile, Chinese News source (Xinhua) reported on Monday that the United Nations is speeding up work to relocate Ethiopian Refugees from border camps due to the Ethio-Sudan border conflict situation.
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