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At least 5 dead in Sudan border attack as tensions with Ethiopia escalate

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Tensions have been simmering between the two countries for decades over the disputed Al-Fashqa region, which falls on the Sudanese side of their disputed border. On Wednesday, the situation escalated further after Sudanese accused Ethiopian military planes of violating Sudan airspace.

Al-Fashqa, President of the Sovereign Transitional Council (TSC) and Commander-in-Chief of the Sudanese Armed Forces, Lieutenant General Abdul-Fattah Al-Burhan, on Wednesday addressed soldiers stationed at the border.

“We are all steadfast with you here until our right is proved by force, in good faith or by any other method. This is our land and we have a legitimate right to protect and defend it by all available means, he said.

A video posted on the TSC’s Facebook page of Burhan’s remarks showed that he was telling them that Sudan would not withdraw from the military confrontation.

“How long do we have to be patient? Everything has a limit and this situation has exceeded its limits. This is our land and we are all ready to die here for this land, until the last man stays in feet. ”

These latest remarks are part of a series of increasingly confrontational public statements by both countries. Ethiopian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Dina Mufti told reporters in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on Tuesday that Sudan was seeking to “ignite the situation”.

“How long will Ethiopia continue to resolve the issue using diplomacy? Well, there is nothing that has no limit. Everything has a limit,” Mufti said.

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The Ethiopian government has not responded to CNN’s request for comment. An Ethiopian military spokesman told the AFP news agency that he had no “tangible information” on Sudan’s claims and that the situation at the border was “normal” on Wednesday.

More than 80 civilians were killed in an attack along the border on Tuesday, a spokesman for the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) told CNN.

“The information we received indicates that over 80 civilians were massacred in the Metekel area of ​​Benishangul-Gumuz in an early morning attack,” said Aaron Maasho.

The EHRC, which describes itself as an “independent national” institution, is still gathering details and did not say who may have carried out the attack.

“These kinds of horrific incidents have been going on for a long time. There is no other option but the federal and regional authorities to increase the security presence in the area and strengthen coordination between them – a call that the Ethiopian Commission on Human Rights has made on and again, “Maasho added.

The Ethiopian government has been conducting a military campaign since November in its Tigray region, which borders Sudan. Civil society groups in Sudan told CNN they feared escalating tensions between the two countries would only serve to further break up the region.

More than 45,000 refugees have fled Ethiopia’s Tigray region to Sudan since the conflict began, according to the UN refugee agency.

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