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News: Sudan reopens Gallabat border crossing with Ethiopia

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and the Sudanese leader Lt-Gen Abdel Fattah al-Burhan met in person on the sidelines of IGAD summit in Nairobi. Picture: PM Abiy

Addis Abeba – In a statement released on Sunday July 17, the Sudanese army spokesman, Brigadier General Nabil Abdallah Ali, said the Technical Committee of the Security and Defense Council chaired by the head of the Sovereign Council decided to open the Gallabat crossing point, a key trade crossing point between the two countries, starting from Sunday, July 17, according to Sudanese news reports.

The latest tension between the two countries came after Sudan on 27 June accused Ethiopia’s army of capturing and executing seven Sudanese soldiers and a civilian. Ethiopia said it “regrets the loss of life as a result of a skirmish between the Sudanese army and a local militia of which an investigation would be carried out soon.”

“The Government of Ethiopia believes that the incident was deliberately concocted to undermine the deep-rooted relations between the peoples of Ethiopia and the Sudan. On top of that, the incident was designed to destruct Ethiopia from its path of peace and development.The Government of Ethiopia, however, remains committed to the principles of amicable resolution of differences among states,” the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

However, both the Ministry and the national defense forces rejected the accusations that the later were involved in the capturing and execution of the seven Sudanese soldiers and one civilian.

During the heads of state and government extraordinary summit by the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) which was held on 05 July in Nairobi, Kenya, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and the Sudanese leader Lt-Gen Abdel Fattah al-Burhan met in person on the sidelines and discussed the issue. Subsequently, the two leaders said they “underscored the need to collaboratively address and diplomatically tackle national political and security related issues that bear greater ramification on the IGAD region”.

The Sudanese army spokesperson referred to the talks and said that the decision was “in return for the goodwill measures shown by the Ethiopian side to prevent the infiltration of armed elements into Sudanese territory,” according to a report on Sudan Tribune.

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