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Sudan warns Ethiopia against troop deployment in its territory

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Lt Gen Yasir al-Atta greets a soldier during his visit to Al-Fasha Al-Seghra on the Ethiopian border on 11 Feb 2021 ST photo)
February 14, 2021 (KHARTOUM) - The foreign ministry in Khartoum on Sunday said Ethiopian army forces have penetrated into its Sudanese territory and warned against the consequence of the repeated violation of Sudan’s territorial integrity.

In a sign of growing tensions between countries over al-Fashqa area, recent reports from the border area between the two countries spoke about troop build-up on the Ethiopian side of the border while the Sudanese army fortified its positions and built roads.

"Sudan condemns and denounces Ethiopia’s aggression by deploying its forces in (Sudanese) territory, in direct violation of Sudan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity," said the foreign ministry in a statement on Sunday.

The foreign ministry further said that Ethiopia’s aggression is a that is regrettable and unacceptable escalation, that would have dangerous repercussions on security and stability in the region.

"Therefore, Sudan holds Ethiopia fully responsible for the consequences of its aggression," stressed the statement.

South Sudanese senior officials and European Union Envoy and Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto were recently in Khartoum and Addis Ababa to urging de-escalation and offering to mediate the standoff.

The Sudanese officials say they can only discuss placement of border markers, while the Ethiopian government says Sudan must withdraw troops from "disputed areas" and pay compensations for the Ethiopian farmers.

At the end of a two-day visit to Addis Ababa last Thursday, Haavisto tweeted about his talks with the Ethiopian officials saying he discussed the situation in Tigray and the humanitarian access to the northern region.

In response to the South Sudanese efforts, the Spokesman of Ethiopian foreign ministry Dina Mufti told journalists in Juba via videoconference in the Ethiopian embassy that his government is ready to resume direct talks with the Sudanese side once it fulfils the conditions posed by his government.

"Appreciating all who have offered to mediate the two countries, including South Sudan, Ambassador Dina said the two countries can amicably solve the dispute through existing mechanisms once the Sudanese army evacuates the area that it has forcefully occupied," reported the official ENA.

(ST)

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