Sudan partially closed its border with Ethiopia, state news agency SUNA reported on Saturday, in the wake of escalating violence in the region.
Heavy fighting flared in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region on Wednesday, diplomatic sources said, after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed launched military operations in response to what he said was an attack on federal troops.
Ethiopia declares a six-month state of emergency in Northern Region:
The local government in Sudan’s eastern al-Qadarif state began closing its border with the Ethiopian regions of Tigray and Amhara on Thursday evening until further notice, SUNA said on Saturday. The government also warned people living at the border to be wary of the repercussions of tensions in neighbouring Ethiopia, it added.
Sudanese areas neighbouring the two Ethiopian regions currently have an active harvest season and any security tensions could seriously harm farmers and their corps, the agency said.
Ethiopian jets bombed the Tigray region on Friday and Abiy pledged more airstrikes in the escalating conflict.
Ahmed vows further air strikes
Ahmed on Saturday vowed further airstrikes after jets bombed the northern Tigray region on Friday amid reports that Tigrayan forces had seized control of federal military sites and weapons.
The military conflict, which has raised fears of civil war, broke out on Wednesday following weeks of tension over Tigray’s unilateral decision to elect a regional administration against Abiy’s wishes.
“Our operation aims to end the impunity that has prevailed for far too long and hold accountable individuals and groups under the laws of the land,” Abiy said on Twitter on Saturday.
He spoke as parliament in the capital, Addis Ababa, approved the formation of an interim government for the region; a step aimed at denying the legitimacy of Tigray’s regional government.
The escalating conflict drew international calls for restraint as political analysts and diplomats warned that a slide into civil war would not only destabilise the country of 110 million people, but hurt the broader Horn of Africa region.