Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok pointed out that Ethiopia’s mediation offer under the umbrella of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) regarding the Tigray crisis is still valid. “The mediation initiative between the Ethiopians within the IGAD framework is still in place,” Hamdok said in a press conference in Khartoum on Sunday.
Hamdok had made several contacts with IGAD countries, including Eritrea, as well as the world community, in order to rally support for his bid to end the conflict in northern Ethiopia between government forces and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). Hamdok stated that he has discussed the plan with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. The Prime Minister’s Office, on the other hand, turned down the offer, citing tensions with Sudan over the Al-Fashaga border area.
As IGAD Chairman, Hamdok stated that the goal of his initiative is to maintain Ethiopia’s unity and stability. “This is a country that has 110 million of population. Can you imagine if the state collapsed?” he said. He stressed that Sudan cannot stand by and watch what is going on in its neighbor’s house without intervening to resolve an issue that would affect its country as well.
The recall of the Sudanese envoy to Addis Ababa was also downplayed by the Sudanese prime minister, who said it was a routine action to speak with him about the situation in Ethiopia and what should be done. The foreign ministry in Khartoum had rejected Abiy’s office’s claims to al-Fashaga as Ethiopian territory and announced the recall of its ambassador to convey its displeasure with his office’s remarks.
The al-Fashaga border issue has been an unresolved issue between the two countries for many years, and the crisis has been escalating for the last seven months.