Jan 13, 2021 19:46 UTC
  • Sudan accuses Ethiopia of violating its airspace

Sudan says an Ethiopian military aircraft has violated its airspace, warning Addis Ababa against repeating “such hostilities.”

It has been a long-standing dispute. The al-Fashqa border area, which falls within Sudan’s international boundaries but has long been settled by Ethiopian farmers, is the bone of contention.

On Wednesday, Sudan’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement the aircraft had “penetrated” the Sudanese-Ethiopian border “in a dangerous and unjustified escalation.”

The ministry cautioned about “dangerous consequences” that could lead to “more tension in the border area.”

The ministry urged Ethiopia not to repeat “such hostilities in the future given their dangerous repercussions on the future of bilateral relations between the two countries and on security and stability in the Horn of Africa.”

Ethiopia on Tuesday accused Sudan of a military build-up in the contested border region, warning that a military confrontation could be imminent as its “peaceful” approach to the decades-old dispute “has its limit.”

In response, Faisal Mohamed Saleh, Sudan’s information minister and government spokesman, warned that Khartoum would respond to any aggression.

Khartoum said in late December that it had regained control of all the Sudanese territory in the area.

Ethiopia says Sudan is taking advantage of its forces being distracted by an internal conflict in the northernmost region of Tigray to occupy Ethiopian land.

Al-Fashqa borders the troubled Tigray, where armed conflict began in November between federal troops and rebel forces.

80+ civilians killed in western Ethiopia

The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) said on Wednesday that more than 80 people had been killed in the latest attack in the Metekel zone of the western region of Benishangul-Gumuz, which borders Sudan and South Sudan, and is home to the mega dam.

Civilians in Metekel have been targeted in fatal attacks since September.

On December 23 alone, 207 people died in one attack.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has so far struggled to clarify what is driving the violence.

Reports say there is no known link between the violence and military operations in Tigray.

In October, Abiy blamed Sudan for the violence, saying the fighters active in Metekel were receiving training and shelter in Sudan. He stopped short of providing evidence, however.

Ethiopian opposition politicians believe the attacks on civilians have an ethnic motive.