Tensions at the Sudan-Ethiopia border forcing Khartoum to deploy significant military reinforcements along its eastern border, a few days after an ambush linked to Ethiopian forces.
Khartoum described the clash that claimed the lives of its soldiers as an “ambush”. It is alleged that the forces involved in the incident were from the Amhara ethnic group that backs the PM Abiy Ahmed.
The new developments immediately prompted Sudan’s PM Abdalla Hamdokto to travel to Ethiopia with a mediation proposal. Independent verification has been difficult as most communication channels remain down. The clashes along Sudan’s Eastern border come at the worst of times as the country faces a refugee crisis and negotiates a difficult economic transition. Since the 2019 ouster of former President Omar al Bashir, fuel and bread shortages have soared with inflation at 250%. Since refugees began to flock in last month, the situation has only worsened.
At the start of the conflict over the Tigray region, Sudan sent 6,000 troops to its Ethiopian border. Despite Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed declaring victory, clashes between Ethiopian federal and regional forces have carried on.
An influx of 52,000 refugees Ethiopian refugees have streamed into the al-Qadarif region of Sudan adding to its security and economic burden. UN estimates a displacement of 950,000 people. The attack on Sudanese troops took part 3 days after Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok met with his Ethiopian counterpart in Addis Ababa. The visit stretched for a few hours despite Sudan declaring it would drag on for two days.
The two sides have committed to resuming new talks that will see Ethiopian farmers withdraw from Sudan’s al-Fashqa border area where cultivation has long taken place. Former Sudanese President Omar al Bashir’s administration had long tolerated this form of incursion.