Ethiopia's Abiy makes first visit to Sudan after border clashes
Friday January 27 2023
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Thursday made a one-day working visit to neighbouring Sudan where he held discussions with General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the president of the Transitional Sovereignty Council, and with various Sudanese political parties engaged in the ongoing political process.
This is the first time for the Ethiopian leader to visit Khartoum since border clashes between the two neighbours erupted.
"I'm pleased to come back again and be among the wise and vibrant people of Sudan. My appreciation to General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan for the warm welcome," Abiy said in a tweet.
"Ethiopia continues to stand in solidarity with Sudan in their current self-led political process,” he added.
Border dispute, mega dam
PM Abiy and General Al-Burhan discussed their countries’ border dispute and their differences over Ethiopia's mega dam project which Sudan and Egypt fear might eventually diminish their water shares from River Nile.
He also met and discussed with the vice president of the Transitional Sovereignty Council, Lt Gen Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo.
Abiy encouraged Dagalo to tap into the abundant capacity of the Sudanese people in solving their own challenges.
In discussions with various Sudanese political parties engaged in the ongoing political process as well as members of the trilateral mechanism, Prime Minister Abiy affirmed that Ethiopia's noninterventionist principle is applied not only to its own experience but to others as well.
Abiy further encouraged the people of Sudan and all political parties to find homegrown solutions.
The Ethiopian leader also met representatives from the UN, the African Union and the regional IFAD group which have been mediating between Sudan's stakeholders.
Abiy reportedly has also held other meetings with former rebel leaders, who became part of the political landscape when they signed a peace deal with the military in October 2020 and from the Resistance Committee, a hard-line pro-democracy group.
The 2019 Nobel Peace Prize award winner's visit has raised speculation that Addis Ababa may be preparing to mediate between Sudanese military rulers and civilian politicians to end the country's long-running political crisis.