Addis Abeba – The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, said he is “following with deep concern the escalating military tension” between Ethiopia and Sudan and “deeply regrets the loss of life at their common border.”
“The Chairperson appeals for complete refrain from any military action whatever it’s origin and calls for dialogue between the two brotherly countries to solve any dispute. The Chairperson notes that the recent border skirmishes should not scuttle the diplomatic solutions being sought to resolve ongoing internal challenges in the two Member States,” the AU said.
Similarly, the Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Dr Workneh Gebeyehu, issued a statement expressing “deep concern” on the recent military escalation between Ethiopia and Sudan borders. IGAD also called on the two “sisterly countries to exercise utmost restraint and avoid actions that can further heighten tensions and to actively seek diplomatic means to find a lasting and sustainable solution on the matter,” according to the statement.
Tensions escalated between the two countries after the accusation on Sunday June 26, by Sudanese army accusing the Ethiopian army of “executing” seven of its members and a civilians and “displaying the bodies” to the public. Sudanese army said this was “in a manner that contradicts all the laws and of war and international humanitarian law, the Ethiopian army executed seven Sudanese soldiers and a citizen who were prisoners of war and then presented them to their fellow citizens with all meanness”.
However, both the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign and Affairs and the National Defense Force (ENDF) denied the Sundanese army’s accusation. The Ministry admitted the death and expressed its regrets at “the loss of life” but said it was “as a result of a skirmish between the Sudanese army and a local militia of which an investigation would be carried out soon.”
Similarly, the Ethiopian army said the accusation that the Ethiopian army had killed captives was “unfounded and baseless” and that its members were not in the area.
Sudanese army vowed to take an “appropriate response”, and there have been reports of active military clashes along the contested border between the two countries.
On Tuesday 28 June several reports said Sudan’s armed forces have reportedly fired “heavy artillery” in its eastern region bordering Ethiopia. AS