South Sudan 'ready to mediate between Sudan, Ethiopia' to end border conflict

Friday January 15 2021
Salva Kiir.

South Sudan's President Salva Kiir. PHOTO | AFP


South Sudan's President Salva Kiir has expressed readiness to mediate between Sudan and Ethiopia to end their border conflict, said Sudan's Sovereign Council on Thursday.

Chairman of Sudan's Sovereign Council Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan on Thursday met with Tut Gatluak, South Sudan's presidential adviser on security affairs, who conveyed a verbal message from Kiir, the council said in a statement.

"President Salva Kiir has expressed readiness to mediate between Sudan and Ethiopia to reach a political and diplomatic solution according to the recognised international borders in preservation of the fraternal ties between the two countries and the peace in the region," Gatluak was quoted by the statement as saying.  

Al-Burhan underlined "the friendly and fraternal solution" for the border dispute with Ethiopia, Gatluak added. Since September 2020, the Sudan-Ethiopia border has been witnessing rising tensions and skirmishes between the two sides.

On Wednesday, Sudan's Foreign Ministry said an Ethiopian military plane penetrated the Sudanese airspace in what it termed "a serious and unjustified escalation." Sudan accuses Ethiopian farmers, backed by armed forces, of seizing Sudanese lands at Sudan's Fashaga area along the border and cultivating them since 1995. 

On December 16, 2020, the Sudanese army announced that Ethiopian forces and militias ambushed its troops on the Sudanese side of the border. On December 19, 2020, the Sudanese army announced the deployment of strong reinforcements to the Gadaref State on the eastern border with Ethiopia. Khartoum then announced retaking of what it terms as "the seized lands."