Addis Abeba – Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and his delegation have arrived in Khartoum, Sudan for a one day working visit, according to the Office of the Prime Minister. The delegation was received by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, President of the Transitional Sovereignty Council of the Republic of Sudan.
The two leaders last met in person and held a meeting on the sidelines of the heads of state and government extraordinary summit by the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), which was held on 05 July in Nairobi, Kenya. Subsequently, the two leaders said they “underscored the need to collaboratively address and diplomatically tackle national political and security related issues that bear greater ramification on the IGAD region”.
In November last year, PM Abiy Ahmed met with Ibrahim Gabir, a member of Sudan’s military-led Transitional Sovereign Council and held discussions on bilateral relations between the two countries and issues of “mutual concerns.”
The between meeting PM Abiy and Ibrahim Gabir came a day after Sudanese and Ethiopian spy agencies said they have signed an agreement to increase intelligence sharing on counter-terrorism and crime between the two countries.
The agreement was signed in Khartoum during a two-day working visit by Temesgen Tiruneh, Director General of the National Intelligence and Security Services of Ethiopia (NISS) where he met with his Sudanese counterpart, Ahmed Ibrahim Mufadal, Director of General Intelligence Service (GIS).
Tensions between the two countries picked after Sudan on 27 June 2022 accused Ethiopia’s army of capturing and executing seven Sudanese soldiers and a civilian. Ethiopia said it “regrets the loss of life as a result of a skirmish between the Sudanese army and a local militia of which an investigation would be carried out soon.”
The two countries have since dispelled the tensions, and in July, Sudanese army spokesman, Brigadier General Nabil Abdallah Ali, said the Technical Committee of the Security and Defense Council chaired by the head of the Sovereign Council decided to reopen the Gallabat crossing point, a key trade crossing point between the two countries, starting from 17 July.
However, Sudan has continued maintaining the presence of its forces in and around the al-Fashaga borderland, a territory abutting the common border between Sudan and Ethiopia linking the eastern bank of the Atbara River and south bank of the Tekeze River. Ethiopians call the area Mazega, which was under the administration of Amhara regional state until the war in Tigray broke out in November 2020.
Although Ethiopian has been demanding the return of al-Fashaga borderland, a swathe of lush and fertile land of about 260 sq km, there is no sign so far that Sudan intended to do so. AS