Sudan’s Foreign Ministry has criticized a recent statement by the Ethiopian Foreign Ministry, describing it as an “unforgivable insult.”
On Feb. 18, the Ethiopian foreign ministry issued a statement accusing Sudan of serving interests of a third party at the expense of the Sudanese people. “The Ethiopian government strongly believes that the conflict being trumpeted by the Sudanese government’s military wing could only serve the interests of a third party at the expense of the Sudanese people,” the statement read.
The Sudanese foreign ministry, in its statement on Saturday, accused Ethiopia of attempting to cripple the African Union’s efforts to reduce the tension between the two countries.”The Ethiopian foreign ministry came out with an unfortunate statement that betrays the history of Ethiopia’s relations with Sudan and denies the mutual appreciation between the two peoples,” the statement said.
The Sudanese foreign ministry statement also hinted Sudan’s determination to reject the Ethiopian forces within the peacekeeping mission in the disputed Abyei region between Sudan and South Sudan. “Sudan cannot trust Ethiopia and the Ethiopian forces to help establish peace in it as the Ethiopian forces come as aggressors across the border,” it noted.
The United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) was established in 2011 by the UN Security Council to monitor the Abyei border. It is mainly composed of Ethiopian military forces of around 4,200 military personnel and 50 police personnel. Later the force was increased to be composed of 5,326, all of them from Ethiopia.
Meanwhile, Abdul-Rahim Al-Sunni, a Sudanese political analyst, told Xinhua that “the Sudanese foreign ministry’s statement was very sharp, which opens the door to all possibilities.” Al-Sunni believed that the African Union efforts have not yet succeeded in reducing the tension between the two countries.
Since September 2020, the border between Sudan and Ethiopia has been witnessing rising tensions and skirmishes between the two sides. Sudan accuses Ethiopian farmers, backed by armed forces, of seizing Sudanese border lands in Sudan’s Fashaga area and cultivating them since 1995.
The border area of Fashaga between Sudan and Ethiopia, one of the five localities of Sudan’s Gadaref State, often witnesses deadly attacks by Ethiopian militias during the preparation for agricultural season.