June 29, 2021 (Washington) – U.S. senior diplomat Tuesday said that the border dispute between Sudan and Ethiopia poses a risk of conflict.
Robert Godec, Robert Godec, Acting Assistant Secretary of State Bureau of African Affairs, made his statement in a hearing before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on the conflict in the Tigray region of Ethiopia.
“The Al-Fashaga border dispute poses a risk of conflict in the area. It is a deep dispute, and it is a considerable concern for the U.S.,” Godec told the Congress members.
He further said his administration discussed the issue with Sudanese and Ethiopian officials and urged them to find a negotiated solution.
“But it is a risk,” he stressed.
Last May, U.S. Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa Jeffrey Feltman was in Khartoum for talks with Sudanese officials over the border dispute and the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam’s crisis.
Speaking about the ongoing conflict in northern Ethiopia, the State Department was assessing the violations of human rights committed in the region.
He further pointed to the continued presence of Eritrean troops alongside the Ethiopian army in the Tigray region.
In a separate statement about the involvement of the Eritrean army in the conflict, he mentioned the deployment of Eritrean soldiers near the disputed area.
“Eritrean troops are present in Al-Fashaga area,” he added.
Last January, Sudanese military sources spokes to the Sudan Tribune about the deployment of Eritrean soldiers in the Ethiopia side of the border with Sudan.
In a visit to Khartoum on 4 May, President Isaias Afwerki sought to reassure the Sudanese officials and agreed with them to develop bilateral relations.