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Refugees cross into Sudan amid calls to stop hostilities in Ethiopia

Members of Amhara region militias ride on a truck as they head to face the TPLF, in Sanja, Amhara region near a border with Tigray, on November 9, 2020 (Reuters photo)November 9, 2020 (KHARTOUM) - Ethiopian refugees, and soldiers have crossed the Sudanese border on Monday fleeing the fighting in the troubled Tigray region, while the transitional government in Khartoum reiterated calls to stop the fighting..

"Eyewitnesses told the Sudan News Agency that the first refugees fleeing the conflict crossed this evening to the Alluqdi border area of Fashaqa locality, northeast of Gadaref State".

They include "four families along with 30 members of the Ethiopian Federal Army from the Amhara tribes with their weapons," further reported the official agency.

Reuters reported that "parts of the military’s Northern Command went over to Tigrayan control" citing diplomatic sources.

The fighting between federal and Tigray forces had erupted along the border between Tigray and the Amhara region, to the south, not far from the Sudanese border, to the west.

Furthermore, a large number of refugees sneaked into the Sudanese border area of Alkanabi agricultural sector in the Greater Fashqa near the Qadimah and Aalaw border areas, stressed the agency in a statement released late on Monday.

Hundred have been killed in the armed conflict that flared up on 4 November in the northern area of Ethiopia near the Sudanese and Eritrean borders.

Sudan and Eritrea deployed troops on the border area to prevent the extension of hostilities into their countries.

On Monday, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed declined calls to calls to end the fighting and sought to reassure the international community.

"Concerns that Ethiopia will descend into chaos are unfounded and a result of not understanding our context deeply. Our rule of law enforcement operation, as a sovereign state with the capacity to manage its own internal affairs, will wrap up soon by ending the prevailing impunity," he said.

Sudan calls to stop hostilities

The Sudanese government on Monday called to cease the fighting and to negotiate a peaceful solution to the conflict between the federal government and the Tigray region.

The Security and Defence Council held a meeting on Monday to discuss the ongoing fighting in Ethiopia.

"Sudan follows with concern what is going on in neighbouring Ethiopia and calls on all parties to deal with wisdom and resort to a peaceful solution and restraint," said Yassin Ibrahim the Sudanese Defence Minister after the meeting.

"Sudan will continue its efforts to bring the parties to reach a negotiated settlement," he further stressed.

The office of the Sudanese Prime Minister disclosed that Abdallah Hamdok spoke four times with Ahmed trying to convince him to accept negotiations with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).

(ST)