Sudan urges ceasefire in Ethiopia's war-hit Tigray

Ethiopia's northern Tigray region has been rocked by fighting since last November 4, when the federal government unleashed a military operation against dissidents in the region.

FILE: Ethiopian refugees, who fled the Tigray conflict, gather to receive aid at the Tenedba camp in Mafaza, eastern Sudan on 8 January 2021, upon their arrival at the camp from the reception center. Picture: Ashraf Shazly/AFP

KHARTOUM, Sudan - Sudan called on Saturday for a ceasefire and dialogue in neighbouring Ethiopia, warning of regional instability, as fighting intensified in war-hit Tigray region across the border.

"The Sudanese government is deeply concerned about the developments in Ethiopia, which may have a negative impact on regional stability," it said in a statement.

It urged "all the parties in neighbouring Ethiopia to stop the fighting and come to the negotiating table".

Ethiopia's northern Tigray region has been rocked by fighting since last November 4, when the federal government unleashed a military operation against dissidents in the region.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced his forces had seized control of Tigray's capital Mekele weeks later.

But last week, rebel fighters announced retaking Mekele and dismissed a unilateral ceasefire declared by the government as a "joke".

Sudan said it would "spare no effort" to work with all the Ethiopian factions to resolve the conflict.

The months-long fighting has left thousands dead and plunged the region into a humanitarian crisis.

It has also sent some 60,000 refugees fleeing into Sudan, a nation struggling with its own economic woes and a rocky transition since the April 2019 ouster of strongman Omar al-Bashir.

The Tigray conflict comes at a time of souring Khartoum-Addis Ababa ties over use of the fertile Fashaga border region where Ethiopian farmers have long cultivated land claimed by Sudan.

Sudan, along with Egypt, has also been locked in a long-running dispute over Ethiopia's construction of a massive hydro-electric dam on the Blue Nile.

Cairo sees the barrage as an existential threat to its water supply, while Khartoum fears its own dams would be harmed without a binding agreement with Addis Ababa.

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