Refugees crossing from northern Ethiopia stated that Eritrea’s army had massed heavily-equipped forces at the Hamdayet tri-border area, where the Sudanese, Ethiopian, and Eritrean borders meet.
In the midst of military actions in the border area next to the Tigray region and Al-Fashaga in Sudan, the Eritrean army established a border camp near the Al-Dima area of Kassala. Eritrea and the Amhara military have formed an alliance against Tigray fighters who have previously clashed over disputed border areas.
In a related occurrence, on Sunday, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and Komnt ethnic groups clashed in the Amhara region’s Shahidi and Jalqa areas, which are next to the Al-Fashaga area.
TPLF rebels have retaken Mekelle, the Tigray region’s capital, and moved to Afar in eastern Ethiopia in a surprise reversal. Due to the increased instability and various checkpoints, this military development has hampered humanitarian access to the northern region.
As a result, the number of Ethiopian refugees at the Hamdayet Border Reception Centre increased once more. On Sunday, 35 refugees entered the border camp, up from an average of three per day in prior weeks.
In addition, the Galabat border crossing between Sudan and Ethiopia remains closed following Ethiopian authorities’ reluctance to release Sudanese army captain Baha al-Din Youssef, who was apprehended while chasing Amhara militias who kidnapped three Sudanese children near Galabat town.
During search operations for the missing youngsters, a Sudanese soldier was killed in fighting between Sudanese forces and Ethiopian militiamen in the border town of Basanda, on Saturday.
Officials from Sudan and Ethiopia were scheduled to meet on Monday to negotiate the border closure, but no details on the outcome have been released.