Ethiopian military jet infringes Sudanese airspace in 'dangerous escalation'

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Wed, 13 Jan 2021 - 02:06 GMT

Ethiopian border town near Sudan – Wikimedia town

Ethiopian border town near Sudan – Wikimedia town

CAIRO – 13 January 2021: The Sudanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced Wednesday that an Ethiopian military jet infringed the airspace describing the incident as a "dangerous unjustified escalation" and warning of the consequences embodied in more tensions in the borders area.

 

 

The ministry urged the Ethiopian side not to repeat such hostile acts in the future for their negative impact on the future of bilateral relations and security and stability in the Horn of Africa.

 

 

The ministry had earlier declared that an assault against Sudanese villagers was carried out by Ethiopia's Shafta gangs in the evening of Monday. Those were harvesting crops in Al Qaresha lying five kilometers away from the Ethiopian borders. The attack resulted in the killing of five women and a child. Also, two women disappeared.

 

 

Some Ethiopian groups used to cultivate lands in Sudan's Fashqa region for decades, which was tolerated by overthrown leader Omar al-Bashir but is no longer accepted by the transitional government. In May, Ethiopian militias attacked a camp in the eastern city of al-Qadarif killing and wounding several Sudanese military personnel and civilians.

 

The Sudanese Armed Forces sent reinforcements to Al Fashqa after the attack that killed four and injured 20 military personnel who were patrolling the southern borders on December 15, as reported by Sky News Arabia.

 

The assault came two days after Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok cut his visit to Addis Ababa returning to his homeland after a few hours instead of staying for two days. Some media reported that Hamdok offered mediation between the Ethiopian Federal Government and the Trigray People's Liberation Front but his offer was turned down by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

 

It is noted that 50,000 out of 950,000 displaced Ethiopians fled to Sudan because of the fighting initiated by the Ethiopian federal government against the Tigray region. 

 

Hamdok issued a press release declaring that a force was patrolling Abou Toyour Mountain on the Sudanese territory, and on its way back, "it was ambushed by Ethiopian militias and forces."

 

Sudan and Ethiopia share borders of 1,600 kilometers, while the surface area of the disputed Al Fashaqa region is 250 square kilometers.

 

An Ethiopian delegation arrived in Khartoum on December 22 to discuss the border demarcation matter with the Sudanese side for two days within the framework of the High Joint Committee on Border Issues, as reported by Al Arabiyah.

 

The meeting is an activation of the committee, and takes place one day after local media reported that the Sudanese Armed Forces was advancing in Al Fashaqa border district occupied by Ethiopia.

 

Sudan wants its borders to match the description indicated in the 1902 Agreement signed between Ethiopian and Great Britain, which was occupying Sudan at the time.

 

Sudan, Ethiopia, and Egypt also have disagreements over the filling and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). Sudan withdrew from the talks twice.

 

The capacity of the dam worth $4.6 billion is 74 billion cubic meters so that its filling would be detrimental to the water shares of Egypt (55.5 billion cubic meters), and Sudan (18.5 billion cubic meters). Ethiopia intends to fill 13.5 billion cubic meters in summer, and plans to build two other dams. It began the filling process in summer 2020 with five billion cubic meters.

 

Constructions in the Grand Renaissance Dam started on April 2, 2011 by the Italian construction and engineering company Salini Impergilo headquartered in Milan. The dam is located on the Blue Nile, and is expected to generate up to 6,000 megawatts of power.

 

 

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