KHARTOUM (Reuters) – An Ethiopian military aircraft crossed the Sudanese-Ethiopian border in a ”dangerous and unjustified escalation”, Sudan’s Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.
The incident “could have dangerous consequences, and cause more tension in the border area”, it added in a statement.
A decades-old dispute over al-Fashqa – land within Sudan’s international boundaries that has long been settled by Ethiopian farmers – erupted late last year into weeks of clashes between forces from both sides.
The Foreign Ministry called on Ethiopia not to repeat “such hostilities in the future given their dangerous repercussions on the future of bilateral relations between the two countries and on security and stability in the Horn of Africa”.
Spokespeople for Ethiopia’s Foreign Ministry, the prime minister’s office and the military did not immediately answer phone calls and text messages requesting comment.
Ethiopia warned Sudan on Tuesday that it was running out of patience with its neighbour’s continued military build-up in a disputed border area despite attempts to defuse tensions with diplomacy.
In response, Sudan’s information minister and government spokesman Faisal Mohamed Saleh said Khartoum did not want war with Ethiopia but its forces would respond to any aggression.
The Sudanese Foreign Ministry on Tuesday also condemned what it called an attack by Ethiopian “gangs” in al-Fashqa on Monday, five km (three miles) from the border. Five women and a child were killed, and two other women who had been harvesting crops were missing, the ministry said.
Sudan said on Dec. 31 that it had taken control of all Sudanese territory in the area. Ethiopia says Sudan took advantage of its forces being distracted by the Tigray conflict to occupy Ethiopian land and loot properties.
Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz; Writing by Mahmoud Mourad; Editing by Jon Boyle and Mark Heinrich