KHARTOUM, 28 January 2021 – Sudan’s military authorities have launched a campaign to recruit into the armed forces as they talk tough about holding on to disputed border land with neighboring Ethiopia.
Sudan “will not give up an inch of the Sudanese territory of al-Fashaga,” the state-run Sudanese News Agency (SUNA) reported Thursday.
SUNA attributed the declaration to Sudan’s Commander of the Infantry’s 2nd Division, Maj. Gen. Haidar al-Tiraifi.
After over 25 years during which Ethiopian farmers and soldiers controlled al-Fashaga, Sudanese officials said late last year that they had recaptured it, calling it Sudanese territory that had been under Ethiopian occupation.
Ethiopia has denied occupying Sudanese territory.
In an apparent signal that they are ready for war, Khartoum has “announced the opening of the door for recruitment to the armed forces,” SUNA reported Thursday, citing Maj.Gen. al-Tiraifi.
Maj. Gen. al-Tiraifi reportedly spoke Wednesday while receiving a convoy of supporters from the Fallata tribe in the disputed border area.
According to SUNA, the general urged residents of the disputed territory “to urge their sons to join the armed forces in order to protect the [country’s] territory and dignity”.
The call for recruitments is seen as a sign that the two countries are inching dangerously closer to war over the disputed territory.
Both countries have said they are open to negotations and hace reaffirmed their commitment to peaceful resolution of conflict.
Talks between the two countries over the disputed border have broken down, though, over demands by Addis Ababa, that Sudanese troops first withdraw from al-Fashaga.