Sudanese troops killed by Ethiopian soldiers in disputed border
KHARTOUM, Sudan - At least six Sudanese soldiers were on Saturday killed by Ethiopian troops along the disputed border, which is deemed to be fertile land for farming in the Horn of Africa, further fuelling tensions in the region.
In recent months, the relationship between Ethiopia and Sudan has deteriorated, amid ongoing tensions within the Tigray region. Thousands of refugees from Tigray have been hosted in Sudan to the provocation of Addis Ababa.
"Our forces tasked with securing the harvest in Al-Fashaqa … were attacked by groups of Ethiopian army forces and militias, who sought to intimidate farmers and spoil the harvest season," Sudanese forces said in a statement.
Sudanese troops "repelled the attack" and "inflicted heavy losses in lives and equipment" on the Ethiopian side, it said. But the attack left "several killed" among Sudanese forces, the army added.
Until now, the Ethiopian National Defense Forces [ENDF] have not issued statements with regard to the latest killings, which could fuel animosity between the two nations. Both countries are struggling with domestic issues.
For months now, Al-Fashaqa, which also borders Ethiopia's troubled Tigray region, has seen sporadic deadly clashes between the two sides over the years. ENDF is also facing troubles in Tigray where they have been fighting Tigray Defense Forces [TDF].
Tigray conflict created tensions within the region with Tigrayans taking refugees in Sudan. The Ethiopian troops have previously been accused of crossing over the border to attack innocent refugees from the country in Sudan.
Khartoum and Addis Ababa have since been locked in a tense war of words over the region, trading accusations of violence and territorial violations. The border dispute feeds into wider tensions in the region, including over Ethiopia's controversial Blue Nile dam.
Sudan, along with Egypt, has been locked in a bitter dispute over Ethiopia's mega-dam for a decade. Both downstream countries, dependent on the river for most of their water, see the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam as an existential threat.
Sudan has been dealing with a myriad of internal challenges including military coups while Ethiopia is in conflict with Tigray Defense Forces. The two countries have for a long time had serious border issues.