The Ethiopian Ambassador to Sudan Yibtalal Amero yesterday accused the Sudanese army of seizing nine camps inside Ethiopian territory, Anadolu Agency reported as quoted by Middle East Monitor.
“We were surprised by the Sudanese army’s attacks on Ethiopian territory and the seizure of nine camps since November,” Amero told representatives of international organisations and ambassadors of foreign countries in the Sudanese capital Khartoum.
The Ethiopian diplomat called for stopping the Sudanese army’s attack on Ethiopia in order to find a solution by peaceful means, explaining that in 1972 the committee tasked with demarcating the borders between Sudan and Ethiopia did not submit its reports on solving the problem of agriculture and settlement, adding that the Ethiopian farmers cannot be removed from the area.
On Tuesday, the head of Sudan’s National Border Commission, Dr. Moaz Ahmad Tango, denied claims that the Sudanese forces’ had taken control of Ethiopian territories.
“There are no Sudanese forces on Ethiopian territory, but rather they are in Sudan and know the borders of their country,” he told Anadolu.
Yesterday Sudan claimed an Ethiopian military aircraft entered its airspace in “a dangerous escalation” to a border dispute that has seen deadly clashes in recent weeks.
“In a dangerous and unjustified escalation, an Ethiopian military aircraft penetrated the Sudanese-Ethiopian borders,” Sudan’s foreign ministry said in a statement on Wednesday, adding that the move “could have dangerous ramifications and cause more tension in the border region”.
The ministry also warned Ethiopia against repeating “such hostilities”.
An Ethiopian military spokesman, General Mohamed Tessema, told the AFP news agency he had no “tangible information” on Sudan’s allegations and the situation at the border was “normal” on Wednesday.
Separately, a Sudanese military helicopter, loaded with weapons and ammunition, crashed on Wednesday shortly after taking off from an airport in an eastern province that borders Ethiopia, according to the state-run Sudan News Agency (SUNA).
“A military helicopter crashed at Wad Zayed airport in Gedarif State … when the crew tried to land the plane shortly after taking off,” SUNA reported.
The report said the plane caught fire after hitting the ground, adding that “all three members of the crew survived”.
For the past two months, Sudan has been deploying troops to its eastern borders with Ethiopia under the pretext of reclaiming territories that had been controlled by Ethiopian militias and farmers since 1995. The border demarcation agreement between the UK and Ethiopia dates back to 1902, prior to Sudan’s independence in 1956. Disagreements over this issue are still ongoing.