Sudan has accused the army of neighbouring Ethiopia of executing seven captured Sudanese soldiers and one civilian and vowed to respond to the “cowardly” act. Tensions have risen in recent years, sparking sporadic armed clashes, over the Al-Fashaqa border strip which is close to Ethiopia’s troubled Tigray region.
“In an act that contravenes all laws and customs of war and international humanitarian law, the Ethiopian army executed seven Sudanese soldiers and a citizen who were their captives,” the Sudanese armed forces said.
The army said “this treacherous act will not pass”, vowing to respond to “this cowardly behaviour”, in a statement late Sunday. There was no immediate response from Ethiopia.
A Sudanese military official who requested anonymity told AFP the soldiers were taken into captivity from a border area close to the Al-Fashaqa region.
Relations between Khartoum and Addis Ababa have soured in recent years over Al-Fashaqa, a fertile border strip long cultivated by Ethiopian farmers but claimed by Sudan, sparking sporadic deadly clashes between the Sudanese and Ethiopian sides. Tensions were heightened further after fighting erupted in Tigray in November 2020, sending tens of thousands of refugees fleeing into Sudan.
Khartoum and Addis Ababa have since been locked in a tense war of words, trading accusations of violence and territorial violations. The border dispute feeds into wider tensions in the region, including over Ethiopia’s controversial Blue Nile dam.
Sudan and Egypt, both downstream countries, have been opposed to the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and pushed for an agreement over the filling of its reservoir and the operation of the dam. In February, Khartoum and Cairo slammed Addis Ababa for unilaterally deciding to start power generation at the dam.