Tensions between Ethiopia and Sudan over the disputed al-Fashqa area are due to pressure on the leaders of the two countries from their citizens, warn analysts.
On one hand, the leader of the Sudanese Sovereign Council, Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Al-Burhan is under pressure to reclaim the Sudanese territory, which has been occupied by Ethiopian farmers for decades during the rule of Omar al-Bashir.
On the other, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is under pressure to meet the demands from the Amhara community who helped him defeat the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) in the northern region. The Amhara community has been farming in the area since 1995.
The tension between Ethiopia and Sudan could further destabilise the region given that the diplomatic impasse between Kenya and Somalia is yet to be solved three months before the verdict of the maritime dispute case at the International Court of Justice in June.
Since December, Sudan and Ethiopia have been trading accusations of incursions into each other’s territory. This has now escalated into military build-up along the border of the two countries.
South Sudan has now offered to mediate between the two countries, with the senior presidential aide, Tut Gatluak, announcing that Gen Al Burhan — who is the de facto head of state — and PM Abiy will meet South Sudanese President Salva Kiir.
Source: The East African
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