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The banks of the Tekeze River, at the Sudan-Ethiopia border. The banks of the Tekeze River, at the Sudan-Ethiopia border, Dec. 15, 2020 (AP photo by Nariman El-Mofty).

Ethiopia-Sudan Border Skirmishes Spark Fears of a Wider War

Monday, March 1, 2021

In mid-February, Sudan summoned home its ambassador to Ethiopia amid an escalating dispute over a stretch of agricultural land along the two countries’ border. Both sides have accused each other of seizing territory by force, and Sudanese authorities have reported at least a dozen deaths, including some soldiers, due to incursions by Ethiopian militias. There is now an uncomfortably high possibility of an open military conflict between the two neighbors, both of which have grappled with domestic unrest in recent months and are going through their own delicate political transitions. Such a border war would be a serious threat to regional security.

Bilateral tensions have been rising since mid-December, when Sudan’s military announced that one of its border patrol units was ambushed by “Ethiopian forces and militias” in an area known as al-Fashqa, where Sudan’s al-Qadarif province meets the Ethiopian state of Amhara. ...

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