Dec 27, 2020 09:23 UTC
  • Sudan says took back border land from Ethiopia

The Sudanese government says the country’s military forces have taken control of most of the agricultural land allegedly occupied by Ethiopians near the border between the two countries.

Tensions have flared since the outbreak of a conflict in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region last month and the arrival of thousands of mainly Tigrayan refugees in eastern Sudan.

According to Press TV, disputes between the two countries have been revolving around the agricultural land in al-Fashqa area, which falls within Sudan’s international boundaries but has long been settled by Ethiopian farmers.

The row has culminated in armed clashes between Sudanese and Ethiopian forces in recent weeks, with both sides accusing the other of instigating the violence.

“We believe in dialogue to solve any problem,” Sudan’s Information Minister Faisal Salih said Saturday. “But our army will do its duty to take back all our land. Currently our army has taken back between 60% and 70% of Sudanese land.”

Stressing that the clashes had subsided in the past two days, Salih blamed the escalation on the Ethiopian army and said, “Sudanese intelligence reports confirmed that the organization, training and arming of the forces that attacked were not militias but regular forces.”

Sudan hosted authorities from Ethiopia to hold talks this week in Khartoum over the issue of the disputed agricultural land, with Sudanese officials saying the border was demarcated in the first years of the 20th century and that the ongoing negotiations were limited to talks over placing additional markers on the land at 2km rather than 10km intervals.

Ahead of the talks this week, Ethiopia’s Foreign Minister Ato Demeke Mekonnen said the Sudanese military had carried out attacks, plundering farm products and exerting violence against Ethiopian refugees.