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Sudan summons home envoy to Ethiopia amid border dispute

CAIRO (AP) — Sudan has summoned its envoy to Ethiopia home for consultations amid a growing border dispute that has seen military buildup along the two countries’ border in recent weeks, an official said Wednesday.

Sudan’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Mansour Boulad did not provide more information about why Ambassador Gamal al-Sheikh was called home. On Sunday, the ministry said Ethiopian troops have crossed into Sudan and warned about “grave repercussions” on the region’s security and stability.

The border dispute between Sudan and Ethiopia has escalated in recent months after Sudan deployed troops to territories it says are occupied by Ethiopian farmers and militias. Since December, over a dozen Sudanese, including troops, were killed in cross-border attacks by Ethiopian forces in Sudan’s al-Qadarif province, according to Sudanese authorities.

The dispute centers on large swaths of agricultural land Sudan says are within its borders in the al-Fashqa area that Ethiopian farmers have cultivated for years. The two nations have held rounds of talks, most recently in Khartoum in December, to settle the dispute, but have not made progress.

Khartoum has said it reclaimed most of its territories and called on Ethiopia to withdraw troops from at least two points it says are inside Sudan.

Addis Ababa, however, accused Sudan of taking advantage of the deadly conflict in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region to enter Ethiopian territory and loot property, kill civilians and displace thousands of people. Ethiopia has called for Sudanese troops to return to their positions before the Tigray fighting erupted in November, pitting Ethiopia’s federal forces against regional fighters.

Sudan has rejected the claim and insists it deployed troops to its own territories, according an agreement that demarcated the borders between the two nations in the early 1900s.

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