East Africa: Ethiopia and Sudan Set for Further Talks About Border After Recent Clashes

A map showing the location of Ethiopia (in green) and Sudan (orange).

Leaders from across east Africa gathered in Djibouti on Sunday for a special summit to discuss the conflict in Ethiopia where fighting continues in the northern Tigray region following an operation by the federal government to root out leaders of the Tigrayan People's Liberation Front (TPLF).

Sudan and Ethiopia decided to hold further discussions slated for Tuesday to discuss their shared border, according to a statement on Sunday from Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok's office, as reported by the AFP news agency.

Hamdok and Ethiopia's prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, held talks on the sidelines of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) summit, following clashes last week between Ethiopian troops and Sudanese forces along their border.

Sudan's army had said its soldiers were attacked by Ethiopian forces and militia on Tuesday inside Sudanese territory, with media in Khartoum saying four soldiers were killed and 27 wounded.

The clashes raised fears that a regional conflict in Ethiopia, which has already drawn in Eritrea, could spread throughout the region.

Abiy said in a tweet that he was grateful for the understanding of IGAD leaders for Ethiopia's law enforcement measures, the term Addis Ababa uses to describe the military operations in Tigray, as legal and legitimate.

The Djibouti summit was attended by Moussa Faki Mahamat, chairperson of the African Union bloc, Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta, Somali President Mohamed Farmaajo, Djibouti's President Ismaïl Omar Guelleh, as well as Abiy and Hamdok.

The summit was also marked by a meeting between Farmaajo and Kenyatta, coming after Somalia's recent move to cut off diplomatic ties with Nairobi. The two were pictured sitting diagonally across from one another at a table with Abiy and Guelleh.

Kenyatta's decision to host his Somaliland counterpart Muse Bihi Abdi last week for a three-day visit angered Mogadishu, which does not recognise the breakaway region.

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