War Tension between Ethiopia and Sudan

2020 does not end well for the Ethiopian people. In the country of the Queen of Sheba, something much worse than the Covid19 pandemic has hit: the end of the democratic dream and the reforms that the young Prime Minister has made the whole world believe since the first days of his office in 2018. After the first promising gestures : release of political prisoners, end of state of emergency, opening to press freedom, return permit for banned opposition leaders, peace with Eritrea, Abiy Ahmed Ali plotted against the ruling coalition, forced the TPLF to get out, engaged in a ruthless repression against the Oromo, postponed the elections citing Covid19 health needs and launched a mad offensive against the Tigray.

Far from being over, the conflict in Tigray has all the potential to trigger a regional war and the balkanization process of Ethiopia. The news of an escalation of the territorial dispute comes to confirm. Ethiopia has warned Sudan of a probable military offensive if Sudanese troops do not stop expanding into Ethiopian territories. In an interview in Amharic with the radio station Ethio FM 107.8, Ambassador Dina Mufti, spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, openly threatened Khartoum. “Sudan shouldn’t take Ethiopia’s silence out of weakness. Our forces are on standby 24/7 and are ready to defend our sovereignty ”.
In response, the Sudanese army has taken full control of the disputed border territories of Al-Fashqa. The news was confirmed by Foreign Minister Omar Qamar al-Din at a press conference. “The Sudanese army has taken control of the entire border with Ethiopia. What we have done is to restore the ownership of our land which has always been Sudanese ”.

Al-Fashqa’s territories have always been disputed between the two countries but they belong to Sudan without a shadow of a doubt. It was under the first decade of the Islamic dictatorship of Omar El Bashir that Ethiopian peasants began to occupy the lands of Al-Fashqa. For political convenience, the dictator tolerated their presence, which over the years became so significant that it became the majority ethnic group in the region. The inevitable conflicts with the local population over the available resources led to a permanent situation of ethnic conflicts supported by the respective governments.

The border war was avoided in the 2000s by freezing the problem. A joint Ethiopian Sudanese force was ordered to keep Al-Fashqa neutral zone and to prevent the respective guerrillas from continuing the ethnic war. This hibernation process was interrupted by the Sudanese army which occupied the disputed territories last November taking advantage of the war in Tigray. The threat of a counter-offensive by the Ethiopian army was taken seriously, given the deployment of troops and vehicles along the border ordered by the Sudanese Armed Forces General Staff.

In a separate statement published in English on the same day, Foreign Affairs spokesman Mufti said his government is committed to reactivating existing mechanisms to reach a negotiated solution to border issues. “We believe that an unnecessary escalation will only worsen the situation and create unnecessary tensions in the border area and interrupt the daily activities of our peoples living in the area”. Contradictory statement that does not fit in well with the threat of counter-offensive that sounds so much like an ultimatum addressed to Sudan.
Considering that this second statement was not reproduced in the Amharic language, it is reasonable to assume that the federal government has decided to use the well-known tactic of “colonial resistance”. Official declarations are recited in Western languages ​​to please the “whites” but the declarations in the national language are the only ones to have any value.

The military escalation in the disputed Al-Fashqa area is in fact already underway. Clashes have already occurred between the two armies about 10 days ago in Sudanese territory. The hostilities put an end to the mediation attempts of the African Union, which is based in Addis Ababa.

Recently, the Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister called for Sudanese troops to be withdrawn and compensation for Ethiopian farmers citing vandalism and looting of their products.
Prime Minister Abiy accused third parties of creating tensions between Sudan and Ethiopia. Although he did not name the alleged “conspiratorial” governments, the allusion to Egypt is clear. Cairo has no interest in opening a direct confrontation with Ethiopia but the fact remains that the Abiy Administration, in the management of the mega dam GERD, represents a direct threat to the economy, agriculture and life of the Egyptians. due to the drastic lowering of the water level of the Nile.

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