Ethiopia rejects Sudan’s mediation plan on Tigray dispute

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Ethiopia has rejected Sudan’s efforts to mediate between Tigrayan rebels and Ethiopian Ethiopia rejects Sudan’s mediation plan on Tigray dispute’s government.

Addis Ababa’s response follows allegations that Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok is planning to start a mediation plan between the Ethiopian government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), with international support.

“The relationship with Sudan is a little bit delicate at this moment,” Ethiopian PM’s spokesperson Billene Seyoum said, “because degree of confidence with some leaders has already been destroyed, notably with the Sudanese army incursion into Ethiopian land.”

“Trust is the foundation of any negotiation, as well as any mediation, thus that factor must be thoroughly resolved before Sudan may be considered as a candidate.”

Sudan, according to Billene, must first withdraw its forces from Ethiopian territory before engaging in any negotiations.

Tensions near the Sudan-Ethiopia border erupted in December of last year, one month after unrest erupted in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray area.

Disputes over the agricultural area of al-Fashaqa, which is within Sudan’s international borders, have strained relations between the two neighbors, as has an unresolved conflict over Ethiopia’s controversial Nile dam project.

Sudan has taken possession of the majority of the area, including up to 60 kilometers of Ethiopian territory, which it claims Addis Ababa has annexed.

Earlier, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok on the phone about the Tigray violence, which has spread to Ethiopia’s Amhara and Afar provinces.

They also talked about the deteriorating humanitarian situation and reportedly decided to work together to find a long-term solution to the war in northern Ethiopia.

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