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Sudan’s Hamdok to hold talks with Ethiopia’s Ahmed over Tigray conflict

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Sudan's PM Abdalla Hamdok and Ethiopia's PM Abiy Ahmed arrive for the opening of the 33rd Ordinary Session of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Feb. 9, 2020. (REUTERS Photo)
December 12, 2020 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok will meet with his Ethiopian counterpart Abiy Ahmed to on Sunday discuss the ongoing conflict in the Tigray region, Sudanese officials confirmed to the Sudan Tribune after reports in Khartoum about the visit.

The visit comes as the Ethiopian federal army has battled the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) in the northern region since November 4, amid reports that thousands were killed and over 950,000 people have been displaced in addition to 50,000 who fled to Sudan.

Hamdok’s delegation includes Foreign Minister Omer Gamer Eldin, Director of the General Intelligence Service, Jamal Abdel Majeed, Sudanese army Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations Khaled Abdeen al-Shami and Director of Military Intelligence Yasir Mohamed Osman.

Hamdok who is the chair of the IGAD regional body was the first to propose mediation for the conflict with the TPLF but Ahmed rejected his offer.

Now, as the conflict risks to jeopardize the regional stability, Hamdok will try once again to see with Abiy what his country and the region can do to stop the fighting.

On Wednesday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for unfettered humanitarian access in Ethiopia’s Tigray region after reports about attacks by the Ethiopian army on UN team seeking access to the Shimelba camp for Eritrean refugees last Sunday.

"I wish to insist on: unfettered access of humanitarian assistance, and the swift resumption of the rule of law in a secure environment and in full respect for human rights, paving the way for a true and lasting reconciliation," Guterres said.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) announced on Saturday that a 7-truck convoy carrying medicines and relief supplies reached the Tigray State capital, Mekelle.

Sudan accused of backing TPLF

A parliamentary committee in Addis Ababa accused the Sudanese army of carrying out attacks on civilians after receiving bribes from the TPLF, according to a report published by The Reporter, an Ethiopian newspaper on Saturday.

The Committee "received reports from refugees who returned from Sudan that the TPLF forces are bribing some Sudanese forces to plot and instigate assault against civilians," said Lemma Tessema, who chairs a parliamentary committee to investigate the situation in Tigray.

Tessema further pointed out that TPLF elements fled to Sudan’s refugee camps, before to voice concern about the security of Ethiopian refugees in eastern Sudan.

The Ethiopian lawmaker "requested the government to take prompt action, and make sure that the people are safe".

Sudanese army recently expelled Amhara and Tigray militia leaders operating inside the Fashaga area along the border with Ethiopia.

The Sudanese army also handed over soldiers who fled the fighting in the northern region near Sudan to the Ethiopian army.

Hamdok is also expected to discuss with Ahmed ways to end the deadlock over filing of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

(ST)

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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.


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