The Ethiopian government is accusing Sudan for “unnecessarily escalating tensions and internationalizing border issues.” Ethiopia said the Tigray People’s Liberation Front is behind recent skirmishes at the Ethiopia-Sudan border.
While briefing African ambassadors based in Addis Ababa on June 30, 2022, Demeke Mekonen, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister said “there are various standing mechanisms Ethiopia and Sudan could utilize to resolve the border issue without resorting to conflict.”
Sudan’s military force vowed to retaliate and reportedly fired heavy artilleries on Monday and Tuesday, after accusing Ethiopian forces for the killing of its seven soldiers that were captured on June 22, 2022. Sudan also summoned her ambassador from Ethiopia.
The Ethiopian government affirmed the soldiers were not killed by the Ethiopian military but rather by local militias. The two countries have been in a diplomatic stalemate after Sudan’s military occupied Ethiopia’s part of the Al-fashga area last year.
Fearing the skirmishes will escalate into a full-scale war, the AU, UN and IGAD urged the two east African nations to refrain from any further military actions and sit for peaceful resolutions.
Immediately after reports of the seven Sudanese soldiers emerged, Sudan lodged a complaint to the UN, bypassing IGAD and the AU. Analysts say Sudan is using the incident to involve the UN in the border case and the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam issue, again.
The chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, said “The AU is following with deep concern, the escalating military tension between the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Republic of Sudan and deeply regrets the loss of life at their common border.”
Mahamat also urged the two countries to solve the case under the AU Border Program.
The week also saw turmoil in Sudan’s domestic politics, as public protest erupted denouncing Sudan’s transitional ruler and head of the military. The Sudanese demanded the military government hold elections and transfer power to the civilian government before its transitional period deadline phases out.
Analysts say that Abdel Fattah al-Burhan is using the border tension to externalize the domestic political pressure, apart from serving as “a Trojan horse” for Egypt’s, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.