Sudan summons Ethiopian envoy after 29 bodies found

Ethiopian refugees, who fled the Tigray conflict, gather their belongings upon their arrival at the Tenedba camp in Mafaza, eastern Sudan on January 8, 2021, after being transported from the reception center. (ASHRAF SHAZLY / AFP)

KHARTOUM – Sudan's foreign ministry on Wednesday said it had summoned the Ethiopian Ambassador to Khartoum as the Sudanese authorities found 29 bodies in a border river.

"On Aug 30, the Sudanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned the Ambassador of Ethiopia in Khartoum after the Sudanese authorities, during July 26 and Aug 8, 2021, found 29 bodies carried by Setait River, east of the villages adjacent to Wad El Helew locality in Kassala State," the ministry said in a statement.

Sudan's foreign ministry informed the Ethiopian ambassador that the bodies belonged to Ethiopian citizens of the Tigray region, whose identities were identified by some Ethiopian individuals residing in Wad El Helew area

The ministry informed the Ethiopian ambassador that the bodies belonged to Ethiopian citizens of the Tigray region, whose identities were identified by some Ethiopian individuals residing in Wad El Helew area, the statement said.

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The ministry asked the Ethiopian ambassador to convey this information to the authorities in his country, according to the statement.

Sudan has been hosting a great number of Ethiopian refugees whose flow to Sudan has recently increased due to the conflict between the Ethiopian army and the fighters of the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF).

According to UN statistics, the total number of the Ethiopian refugees in Sudan amounted to around 90,000, most of them are women and children.

On Nov 4, 2020, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed decided to enter into a military confrontation with the Tigray region to prevent instability in his country after the region conducted local elections in defiance of the federal government which described the vote as illegal.

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The Ethiopian army has managed to quickly control the region, but during June and July the TPLF has restored control over most of the areas of the region from the army.