Ethiopia: 'No Need for Hostility With Sudan After Border Incident'

Addis Ababa — The Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement yesterday regarding the "Ethiopian-Sudan border incident" on May 28 that "there is no honourable reason for the two countries to descend into hostility".

Witnesses told Radio Dabanga that a group of Ethiopian gunmen (called shifta in the region) raided Barakat Nourein in El Gureisha locality on the border with Ethiopia on Thursday. Army captain Karamallah Yagoub was killed in the ensuing clashes and three civilians, including a woman, were wounded.

The gunmen were supported by hundreds of Ethiopian soldiers, Sudanese army spokesperson Brig Amer El Hasan said in Khartoum the following day.

Yesterday's statement of the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs does not deny that Ethiopian soldiers crossed the border with Sudan and killed a Sudanese officer and wounded several people.

The ministry offered its condolences to "the families of the victims of both countries". It urged the two countries "to work together through existing military mechanisms to investigate the circumstances of the accident with the spirit of containing the situation on the ground and avoiding any additional tension".

"We are of the view that such incidents are best addressed through diplomatic discussion based on the cordial and friendly relation and peaceful coexistence between the two countries. We believe that the incident does not represent the strong ties between the peoples of the two countries."

On Saturday, the Sudanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned the Ethiopian Chargé d'Affairs in Khartoum, and protested against the incursion of "militiamen supported by the Ethiopian army" into Sudan.

It denounced the recurrent attacks on people and armed forces on Sudanese territory, which have left Sudanese men, women and children dead and wounded.

Reportedly, 700.000 acres of Sudanese agricultural land have been illegally appropriated by Ethiopian farmers since the 1960s.

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