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Sudan military says several soldiers killed in Ethiopian attack


KHARTOUM/ ADDIS ABABA: Sudan’s military says several Sudanese soldiers were killed in an attack by Ethiopian forces in a disputed border region.

In a statement on Saturday, Sudan’s military said “our forces tasked with securing the harvest in Al-Fashaqa… were attacked by groups of Ethiopian army forces and militias, who sought to intimidate farmers and spoil the harvest season.”

Sudanese troops “repelled the attack” and “inflicted heavy losses in lives and equipment” on the Ethiopian side, it said but the attack left “several killed” among Sudanese forces, it said, without giving a death toll.

The Reuters news agency, citing military sources, said at least six soldiers had been killed in the attack.

Ethiopian officials could not be immediately reached for comment.

Al-Fashaqa is a border zone long cultivated by Ethiopian farmers but claimed by Sudan.

The zone, which also borders Ethiopia’s troubled Tigray region, has seen sporadic deadly clashes between the two sides over the past years, but escalated last year.

Tensions rose after fighting erupted in Tigray in November 2020 and sent tens of thousands of refugees fleeing into Sudan.

Khartoum and Addis Ababa have since been locked in a tense war of words over the region, trading accusations of violence and territorial violations.

The border dispute feeds into wider tensions in the region, including over Ethiopia’s controversial Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile.

Sudan, along with Egypt, has been locked in a bitter dispute over the mega-dam for a decade.

Both downstream countries, dependent on the river for most of their water, see it as an existential threat. (Int’l Monitoring Desk)

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