(Bloomberg) Eritrean forces are present inside disputed territory that straddles the border between Ethiopia and Sudan, according to the United Nations.
The deployment in the so-called al-Fashqa triangle comes amid escalating tensions between Ethiopia and Sudan over control of the area of fertile farming land.
“The conflict along the border between Sudan and Ethiopia remains active, with Sudanese Armed Forces and Ethiopian — including Amhara militias — and Eritrean forces deployed around Barkhat settlement in Greater Fashaga and clashes reported since early March,” the UN said Tuesday in its latest situation report on Ethiopia.
The report on the deployment came as Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed admitted for the first time that Eritrean forces have been backing his government’s forces in a conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region. Answering questions posed by lawmakers in parliament on Tuesday, Abiy said he had no interest in escalating tensions with Sudan.
“Ethiopia also has many problems, and we are not ready to go to battle. We don’t need war,” he said in remarks translated into English for a live TV broadcast. “It is better to settle it in a peaceful manner.”
Ethiopia and Sudan’s armies have deployed armaments including tanks and anti-aircraft batteries to the border region. Sudan is also building new roads to the border area to improve access during the rainy season that is due to begin in July, UN said in a statement