KHARTOUM, 27 February 2021 – The Sudanese government has said Khartoum will not give up an inch of its territory, as the border dispute with Ethiopia persists.
Sudan is not willing to make compromises that affect its sovereignty and borders, the state-run Sudan News Agency (SUNA) reported Friday, citing remarks made Thursday by Sudan’s Foreign Minister Mariam Sadiq al-Mahdi.
Al-Madhi spoke to SUNA from the South Sudanese capital, Juba.
She had just met Thursday with South Sudanese President Salva Kiir Mayardit, as well as with her South Sudanese counterpart Beatrice Khamisa Wani-Noah.
South Sudan has offered mediation in the border dispute that opposes Ethiopia to Sudan in the so-called Al-Fashaga triangle.
A very fertile stretch of land, Al-Fashaga is settled predominantly by Ethiopian farmers.
Sudan claims that the triangle lies on its side of a border as last demarcated by the British at the start of the 20th century.
Ethiopian and Sudanese forces clashed over the disputed Al-Fashqa last year and both countries have built up troop presence on their side of the common border, raising fears that all-out-war may erupt between the two neigbors and forcing leaders like Salva Kiir to offer mediation.
Last February 20, Sudan accused Ethiopia of an “unforgivable insult” in what observers and diplomats in both Addis Ababa and Khartoum consider the sharpest statement yet since a decades-old border dispute flared late last year.
Sudan declared the disputed area and its border area with Ethiopia a no-fly zone after accusing Ethiopia of violating its air space.
Both countries have repeated verbal commitments to resolving disputes peacefully and have multiplied declarations that they are open to mediation.
The South Sudanese presidency has designated Tut Gatluak, the presidential advisor on security affairs, to serve as focal point on the possible negotiations between the parties of the dispute, beginning with a tripartite meeting – Ethiopia, Sudan and South Sudan – that President Salva Kiir hopes to host.
Al-Mahdi said Khartoum seeks to create a foreign policy based on an equivalent relationship with the African and regional neighborhood and the international community to remove Sudan from isolation.