Armed men guard sacks of food delivered to Ethiopian refugees fleeing from the ongoing fighting in Tigray region, at the Fashaga camp, on the Sudan-Ethiopia border, in Kassala state, Sudan, November 24 2020. Picture: REUTERS/MOHAMED NURELDIN ABDALLAH
Armed men guard sacks of food delivered to Ethiopian refugees fleeing from the ongoing fighting in Tigray region, at the Fashaga camp, on the Sudan-Ethiopia border, in Kassala state, Sudan, November 24 2020. Picture: REUTERS/MOHAMED NURELDIN ABDALLAH

Sudan claimed an Ethiopian military plane breached its border, raising tension between the two African neighbours that are embroiled in a territorial dispute.

The move is a “dangerous and unjustified” escalation, Sudan’s foreign ministry said on Wednesday in a statement on Twitter. Ethiopia’s army spokesperson and the office of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed did not answer calls seeking comment.

Sudan’s accusation is the latest in a series it’s traded with Ethiopia as sporadic deadly clashes occur around al-Fashqa, an area of fertile farming land that straddles their mutual border. Tensions in the area have escalated since a conflict erupted in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region in early November.

On Tuesday, Sudan accused Ethiopian militias of killing six people in an attack on its territory a day earlier.  Last week, Ethiopia said Sudanese forces killed “many civilians” during incursions in the same disputed area.

The head of Sudan’s sovereign council, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, visited the border area on Wednesday, the army said on its Facebook page. The nation’s foreign ministry warned that any further violation of its airspace could have “dangerous repercussions,” including on “security and stability in the Horn of Africa”.

Sudan and Ethiopia are also currently trying to resolve a dispute over the pace at which Ethiopia fills a giant hydropower dam on a Nile River tributary.

The Sudanese government-owned news agency Suna reported Wednesday that a military helicopter crash-landed at an airport in Gedaref, a state on Sudan’s eastern border with Ethiopia, with all three crew surviving. It didn’t give a cause for the crash or provide further details.

Bloomberg

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