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Ethiopia, Sudan Meet To Resolve Border Clashes

Following the African Union's concern about the conflict between Sudan and Ethiopia in the Al-Fashaga area, the two countries met in Kenya to begin peace talks.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced on Tuesday, July 5, that he met with Sudan’s General Abdel-Fatah Al-Burhane on the sidelines of an Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) summit to initiate peace talks.

This comes just a few days after the border crisis between the two countries led to fresh disputes. 

“We have both agreed that our two countries have plenty of collaborative elements to work on peacefully. Our common bonds surpass any divisions. We both made a commitment for dialogue & peaceful resolution to outstanding issues,” Prime Minister Ahmed said in a tweet

The Sudanese government has recently accused the Ethiopian army of executing seven of its soldiers and a civilian who had been captured in Sudanese territory, in the disputed border area of Al-Fashaga triangle close to the Al-Qadarif of Eastern Sudan. 

Ethiopian authorities, on the other hand, have denied the allegation, accusing Sudanese forces of entering Ethiopian territory and inciting a fatal clash with a local militia over the last weekend of July 2022. The country had also withdrawn its ambassador from Sudan. 

The crisis led to clashes between the Sudanese army and Ethiopia, with Sudan claiming to have fired artillery and reclaimed some territories previously held by the Ethiopian forces. 

Al-Fashaga, a 260 square kilometre area, has been a source of contention for decades, but clashes, sometimes lethal, have increased since late 2020, causing the African Union and IGAD to express concern.

Sudan has in 2020 evicted thousands of Ethiopian farmers from the swathe and fertile land of Al-Fashaga which ignited clashes that claimed dozens of military and civilian lives. 

Experts have also expressed concern over the clashes in the area, saying that political instability in the two countries could aggravate tensions that will lead to greater instability. 

This border crisis comes on top of the serious dispute over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam built by Ethiopia on the Blue Nile, which has enraged not only Sudan but also Egypt, which has concerns about water supply.

Ethiopia is scheduled to begin the third filling of the dam in August, a move that could spark new tensions with its neighbour. 

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Aliyu Dahiru

Aliyu is an Assistant Editor at HumAngle and Head of the Radicalism and Extremism Desk. He has years of experience researching misinformation and influence operations. He is passionate about analysing jihadism in Africa and has published several articles on the topic. His work has been featured in various local and international publications.

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