Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said on Tuesday that his country did not want war with Sudan, as tensions over a contested region along their border spark fears of broader conflict.
He stressed later on that Ethiopia “did not want war” with their neighbor over this decade’s-old territorial dispute, describing Sudan as a “brotherly country” whose people loved Ethiopia.
The border quarrel is over Al-Fashaqa, an agricultural area sandwiched between two rivers, where Ethiopia’s Northern Amhara and Tigray regions meet Sudan’s Eastern Gedaref state.
The fertile farmland is claimed by both countries and has been a flashpoint for conflict, most recently as fighting in Ethiopia’s Tigray region sent some 60,000 refugees fleeing into Sudan.
On Tuesday, Sudan accepted a United Arab Emirates mediation proposal in an attempt to reduce tensions with Ethiopia over a border dispute and Addis Ababa’s construction of a dam on the Nile.