Sudan closes airspace on Ethiopian border

January 17, 2021

(KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese Civil Aviation Authority (SCAA) has declared the closure of airspace over eastern Sudan region of Gadaref, after the incursion of an Ethiopian fighter plane on Wednesday.

'The measure has been taken in the wake of the violation of the Sudanese airspace by an Ethiopian fighter jet on Wednesday morning,' the SCAA Director Ibrahim Adlan told the Sudan Tribune.

On Wednesday, the head of the Sovereign Council Abdel Fatah al-Burhan made a very tough speech during a visit to the border areas of al-Fashaga against the Ethiopian government without naming it and pledged to fight anyone who claims the Sudanese territory.

He pointed to one of the senior officers who accompanied him to visit the families of the Sudanese women killed by the Ethiopian forces saying 'he was posted in this area 25 years ago and now they come to claim the ownership of our land'.

In the same trend, foreign minister Omer Gamar Eldin rejected calls by the Ethiopian government for negotiations saying there is no border dispute to be negotiated because the claimed area is a Sudanese territory.

'When Ethiopia calls the border ’disputed’, this is a false description that finds no legal basis in the international law'.

'Sudan does not seek any mediation with Ethiopia, because it is our borders and our land, (...) We also do not admit that we are in a border dispute to resort to arbitration, ' he stressed.

Ethiopia contests an agreement reached by Ethiopian emperor and the British colonial administration in Sudan in 1902 saying the border was demarcated unilaterally by Britain.

In return, Sudan says they have the letter of the emperor endorsing the demarcation in 1903.

Ethiopia says the agreement of July 1972 provides for an amicable solution for issues arising from settlement and cultivation north of Mount Dagelish.

The Sudanese government says that Ethiopia renounced explicitly about any claim on the Sudanese territory in the 1972agreement.

Also, a joint technical committee conducted in 2010 the border demarcation of the area located north to Mount Dagelish and completed in 2011. This agreement was officially endorsed in 2014.


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