The Sudanese army declared in an official statement that a group of its forces was ambushed by Ethiopian militias inside the Sudanese lands, which resulted in the loss of lives and equipment.
According to the statement, an army force was raking the area around Jabal Abu Tuyour in Sudanese territory when it was attacked by Ethiopian forces. The ambush resulted in the death of an army officer and three soldiers and huge losses in equipment.
Army Is Moving
In response to that attack, the Sudanese army has moved and deployed its troops amid broad political support, especially from Egypt. The army restored hundreds of thousands of agricultural hectares that were taken by the Ethiopian militias belonging to the Amhara nation.
In a statement issued by its Foreign Ministry, Egypt condemned the attack and expressed its sincere condolences to Sudan for the victims of the deplorable attack on members of the Sudanese armed forces. Meanwhile, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abi Ahmed announced that his government was following up the incident. On his official Twitter account, the PM said that such incidents would not break ties between the two countries, accusing the perpetrators of causing sedition and that they do not know the strength of Ethiopia’s and Sudan’s historic ties.
It is noteworthy that Ethiopian farmers, backed by Amhari militias, control about two million acres of the most fertile Sudanese lands in Africa.
Ethiopian forces have settled along the border strip between the two countries with areas ranging between 10 and 20 kilometers. It transferred about two thousand farmers to those areas, and built 30 towns with good infrastructure, in a clear attempt to change the demographic structure of the area.
Despite the deployment of the Sudanese army in that region and regardless its attempts to restore the lands, which increased in the war waged by the federal government in Ethiopia on the Tigray Liberation Front, the lands restored until now are small, compared to the occupied territories. So far, the army’s operations resulted in restoring only 10,000 or 15,000 acres, while Ethiopian militias occupy 300,000 acres in al-Fashka al-Kubra, in addition to 500,000 acres in al-Fashka al-Sughra, from which the army has restored some lands.
Restoring Sudanese Lands is Not That Easy
The army has the absolute support of the region’s people. However, restoring all lands inhabited by the Amharis will not be easy according to Sudanese officials who said that it requires dialog between both countries.
Settlements of Ethiopians on Sudanese territory started 1957 as a result of neglecting these areas by the Sudanese government. Those areas have no paved roads that link them to the rest of the region, which made the settlement easier. In 1996, the settlement operations increased after an undeclared agricultural agreement signed with the Ethiopian side by Ahmed Omar Badr the Wali of al-Qadaref.
According to analysts, evacuating Ethiopians from the Sudanese lands requires both decision and will from the federal government in Addis Ababa, as Al-Amhara, Abi Ahmad’s allies, believes that the lands are part of their region.
The recent attack carried out this week against Sudanese army is the third of its kind in one year. The militia and forces belonging to Amhara have already carried out a similar attack in April of this year, killing a Sudanese soldier. Last May, the Sudanese army announced that Ethiopian militias backed by Ethiopian army attacked Sudanese territory, killing an officer and a soldier, wounding 7 soldiers and killing a child and injuring 3 civilians.
It is noteworthy that the number of Ethiopian refugees who arrived in eastern Sudan reached more than 52000, according to the Sudanese authorities.