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Sudan Says GERD, Border Conflict Behind Tensions with Ethiopia

Sudan Says GERD, Border Conflict Behind Tensions with Ethiopia

Sunday, 19 September, 2021 - 06:45
Sudanese Foreign Minister Mariam al-Mahdi (AFP)

Sudan rejected Addis Ababa's claim that al-Fashaqa border region is Ethiopian, saying the claim is completely unacceptable, and warning that such statements could create further tensions.

Sudanese Foreign Minister Mariam Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi accused Ethiopia at a press conference in Khartoum of "fabricating issues" with Sudan to "escape its internal problems," adding that the statements issued by Ethiopian officials are not appropriate for diplomacy.

The FM lauded the Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces for their efforts to protect state sovereignty over Sudanese lands in the east of the country.

"We recognize Ethiopia's right to benefit from development sources, but this should not harm other Blue Nile basin countries," she asserted.

Al-Mahdi praised the United Nations Security Council's statement on Wednesday calling on Sudan, Ethiopia, and Egypt to continue the African Union-sponsored talks on GERD according to a timeframe to reach a legally binding agreement on the operation and filling of the dam.

During his visit to Khartoum last week, Congo's Foreign Minister Christophe Lutundula presented a detailed proposal on resuming negotiations, noting that her country would respond to this proposal in the coming days.

Al-Mahdi acknowledged disagreements regarding the borders with Ethiopia, Egypt, and South Sudan, which turned into an arena of tensions.

Securing the borders is a priority of Sudanese national security, said al-Mahdi, adding that her country will deal firmly with any conflict.

Al-Mahdi said that the international community has failed to help Sudan host the Ethiopian refugees from the Tigray region in the camps, indicating that it did not even fulfill about 30 percent of the appeals launched by Sudan to meet needs in this regard.

The Minister said that Sudan entered a new phase in its foreign relations after the December revolution, noting that it currently enjoys good relations with all countries following its removal from the list of countries that sponsor terrorism.

She explained that Sudan has well-established relations with the Arab countries, asserting their continuous coordination in development cooperation, investment, and combating terrorism and extremism.

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