Sudan Accuses Ethiopia of Incursion, Escalating Land Dispute
By Simon Marks and Mohammed Alamin, February 15, 2021
(Bloomberg) — Sudan accused Ethiopian forces of entering its territory, escalating a dispute over land that straddles their border.
“Sudan strongly condemns the aggression carried out by Ethiopia, in which its forces entered into territories that legally belong to Sudan,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement Sunday. It described the incident as “a direct violation” of Sudanese sovereignty.
Redwan Hussein, spokesman for the Ethiopian government’s Emergency Task Force, didn’t respond to questions about the statement.
Relations between Sudan and Ethiopia have frayed since a war erupted in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region on Nov. 4. Officials in Ethiopia’s ethnic Amhara region have pressed the government to seize land that Sudan claims ownership of based on colonial treaties. Several deadly clashes have taken place in al-Fashqa, a fertile farming area on the two nations’ border.
The dispute adds to tension between the two countries over a giant hydropower dam Ethiopia is building on the main tributary of the Nile River. Sudan and Egypt depend on the flow of the river for fresh water, and both countries want Ethiopia to agree to rules on the filling and operating of the reservoir to safeguard supplies.
Dina Mufti, a spokesman for the Ethiopian Foreign Ministry, on Feb. 13 accused Sudan of “plundering and displacing” its citizens since Nov. 6, as Ethiopian troops were busy fighting forces loyal to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front.