Sudan Sends More Troops to Ethiopian Border

Khartoum, Dec 19 (AFP/APP): Sudan has sent “significant military reinforcements” to the border with conflict-hit Ethiopia, state media said Saturday, days after the army said troops were ambushed there by Ethiopian forces.

Soldiers were deployed in the eastern Al-Fashaqa border region, the site of sporadic clashes, where Ethiopian farmers cultivate fertile land on territory claimed by Sudan. The area also borders Ethiopia’s troubled Tigray region, where fighting broke out last month, causing over 50,000 Ethiopians fleeing the conflict to cross into Sudan in recent weeks.

“The Sudanese armed forces continued to advance on the front lines inside Al-Fashaqa to recapture the stolen lands and take up positions on the international lines,” Sudan’s SUNA news agency said. Sudan’s army said troops were attacked on Tuesday evening in an “ambush by Ethiopian forces and militias inside Sudanese territories”.

Sudanese media said four soldiers were killed and 27 wounded, although the army did not confirm the reports. General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, who heads the armed forces and the Sovereign Council, Sudan’s highest executive body, visited the area this week. Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, on a visit to Addis Ababa last week, spoke to his Ethiopian counterpart Abiy Ahmed about demarcating the border between the countries.

Addis Ababa was keen to downplay the importance of the ambush, saying the incident did not threaten the relationship between the two countries.

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