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Hamdok, Merkel, Macron discuss Ethiopian crisis

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Ethiopian who fled the fighting in Tigray region, carry their belongings from a boat after crossing the Setit river on the Sudan-Etthiopia border on 23 November 2020 (Reuters Photo)November 23, 2020 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok, discussed the filling of the Renaissance Dam and influx of Ethiopian refugees with French President and German Chancellor.

Last Saturday, Sudan boycotted a meeting on the filling of the giant hydropower dam with Ethiopia and Egypt and reiterated its call for a new method of negotiation after eight years of fruitless talks.

Also, eastern Sudan border areas receive thousands of refugees per day fleeing the fighting between the Ethiopian army and the TPLF fighters in Tigray region. Over 45,000 are already in Sudan and the UN expects they will reach 100,000 in the coming days.

"In a phone call with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Hamdok discussed the situation of the Ethiopian refugees who continue pouring into Sudan," said the cabinet in a statement released on Monday.

Hamdok and Merkel expressed their "deep concern about the humanitarian situation of the refugees and its expected aggravation with the onset of winter. They stressed the need for the international community to shoulder its responsibilities towards all Ethiopian refugees," further said the statement.

The German Chancellor thanked the government and the Sudanese people for welcoming the refugees and supporting them despite the economic conditions in the country.

The two parties, also, discussed a number of regional issues, including the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

"They stressed the need to reach a fair agreement that takes into account the interests of the three countries, as it is the only way to solve this crisis," said the statement.

The European Union, particularly Germany and France, remains the main supporter of the civilian government in Sudan.

In a separate second statement, the Cabinet said that Hamdok spoke also with the French President Emmanuel Macron.

The two leaders expressed the need to reach an agreement on filling and operating the Renaissance Dam, "provided that it is fair and takes into account the interests of the three countries," said the cabinet.

The statement quoted Macron as confirming France’s participation in the process of assessing the needs of Ethiopian refugees.

?They also called for the international focus on the Ethiopian conflict which forces thousands of refugees to flee the country to Sudan.

The Ethiopian Prime declined regional efforts to mediate the crisis and vowed to crush the recalcitrant Tigran leaders.

(ST)

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