Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed addresses a parliament session in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Mar 28, 2023. (PHOTO / AFP)
ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has "strongly condemned" and refuted allegations that Ethiopian troops have crossed into neighboring Sudan.
Ahmed made the statement in response to allegations that Ethiopian troops have crossed into Sudan's territory as the country encounters an internal conflict between the Sudanese Army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).
Ethiopia and Sudan have longstanding competing claims over the Al-Fashaqa border region, an area of fertile land settled with Ethiopian farmers that Sudan claims is within its boundary
"At this critical stage, in which the identity, the shared destiny of the Sudanese people and Ethiopians are facing challenges, there are some parties that are seeking to achieve their lowly political goals by spreading false claims," state-run Ethiopian News Agency (ENA) quoted Ahmed as saying in a statement issued in Arabic language late Thursday. "It is very unfortunate that these sides are claiming that Ethiopia brought its troops inside the Sudanese border areas."
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He dismissed the "false claims" that Ethiopia brought its military personnel to the Sudanese border.
"It is very unfortunate that these forces are claiming that Ethiopia brought its troops inside the Sudanese border areas. We strongly condemn these allegations, which lead to distorting the good neighborly relations between Ethiopia and Sudan," he said.
The Ethiopian prime minister underscored the East African country's belief that the border issue with the neighboring Sudan can only be solved through dialogue.
"We strongly believe that the border issue between the two sister countries will be resolved through dialogue and discussions where Ethiopia values brotherhood, good neighborliness between our two countries, and does not want to exploit the current circumstances in Sudan," he said. "We fully trust that the brotherly Sudanese people will not heed to such claims, but seek to stand with the Ethiopian people who value good neighbors."
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Ethiopia and Sudan have longstanding competing claims over the Al-Fashaqa border region, an area of fertile land settled with Ethiopian farmers that Sudan claims is within its boundary.
Over the past few years, Ethiopia and Sudan were accusing each other of "provocations" over border incidents. The situation, however, has improved recently.