Ethiopia has confirmed clashes that reportedly took place this week at a border area between Sudanese troops and Ethiopia’s militiamen.
The spokesperson of Ethiopia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry Dina Mufti told local media that “the Sudanese force made “major incursion” into Ethiopia’s territory that led to fighting” in which an undisclosed number of soldiers and militiamen were killed.
The spokesperson said the Sudanese military crossed the border into Ethiopia’s territory, seized lands and attacked local farmers in the area.
A counterattack by the local militiamen regained control of the area; Dina said but did not disclose the number of causalities.
“The gov’t is closely following the incident with the local militia on the Ethio-Sudan border,” Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said on Friday on his official Twitter account.
His response came after Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok said that “Ethiopian forces and militias” attacked a military patrol inside Sudan.
“Such incidents will not break the bond b/n our two countries as we always use dialogue to resolve issues,” Abiy said in his tweet, referring to the clashes.
“Those fanning discord clearly do not understand the strength of our historical ties,” he added.
The attack against the militiamen came while Ethiopia has finalized a “law enforcement operation” in the country’s northernmost region of Tigray after the now outlawed Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) had attacked the northern command of the Ethiopian Defense Forces.
According to the spokesperson, the Ethiopian government believes that lower-ranking officials of the Sudanese army perpetrated the attack.
Ethiopia appreciates its neighborliness and wants to safeguard longstanding relations with Sudan, Dina said adding leaders of the two countries will dwell on the matter shortly.