Sudan Withdraws Ambassador To Ethiopia Amid Frayed Ties

Sudan Withdraws Ambassador To Ethiopia Amid Frayed Ties
Sudan Withdraws Ambassador To Ethiopia Amid Frayed Ties

 

Sudan has withdrawn its ambassador to neighboring Ethiopia, frustrated by the stance of Ethiopian officials who it said were rejecting Khartoum’s offer to mediate the ongoing conflict in Tigray.

“Ethiopia will improve its position if it considers what Sudan could do … rather than completely rejecting all its efforts,” a statement from the Foreign Ministry read on Sunday Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok spoke with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday about the conflict in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia Hamdok’s offer came under his presidency of IGAD, a grouping that includes Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Djibouti, Sudan, Uganda, and Somalia, according to the statement.

The Khartoum move was the latest sign of deterioration in ties between the two neighbors. The tensions began after Sudan deployed troops to its border with Ethiopia late last year The decades-long border dispute between Sudan and Ethiopia centers on large tracts of agricultural land that Sudan says is within its borders in the al-Fashaqa area, according to an agreement that demarcated the borders between the two nations in the early 20th century.

The two nations have held rounds of talks, most recently in Khartoum in December, to resolve the dispute, but have made no progress The dispute has escalated in recent months after Sudan deployed troops to al-Fashaqa. Sudan said it has regained most of its territory and called on Ethiopia to withdraw troops from at least two points it says are inside Sudan.

 

However, Ethiopian officials accused Sudan of taking advantage of the conflict region of Tigray to enter Ethiopian territory. He has asked Sudanese troops to return to their positions before fighting broke out in Tigray in November.

The border tensions come at a time when Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt are also trying to resolve a three-way dispute over Ethiopia’s Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam Billene Seyoum, a spokesman for Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, said on Thursday that ties with Sudan have been “a bit complicated” and accused Khartoum of occupying Ethiopian territory, a reference to al-Fashaqa.

He said Sudan was not a “credible party” to facilitate negotiations between the Abiy government and the Tigray leaders Conflict broke out in Tigray in November after a fight between Abiy and the ruling Tigray party that had dominated Ethiopia’s government for nearly 30 years. The escalating war has threatened to destabilize the entire Horn of Africa.

There was no immediate comment from Ethiopia on Sunday In February, Sudan ordered Ambassador Gamal al-Sheikh to return from Ethiopia after he accused Ethiopian troops of crossing into Sudan and warned of “serious repercussions” on the security and stability of the region. Al-Sheikh returned to Addis Ababa weeks later.

The Tigray war has killed thousands of people and brought the area to the brink of famine. More than 60,000 people have also fled Tigray and taken refuge in Sudan.