ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) – Ethiopia says a recent violent incident that flared up along the border with Sudan should be addressed by diplomatic discussions.
For its part, Sudan’s military says that the two countries should deploy a joint force to patrol the border to prevent any violence.
The statements from Ethiopia and Sudan came Sunday after Sudan summoned Ethiopiaâ€™s diplomat in Khartoum over the cross-border attack last week that was allegedly carried out by a militia backed by Ethiopiaâ€™s military.
At least one Sudanese army officer and one child were killed in an attack on Thursday by an Ethiopian militia group in Sudanâ€™s eastern al-Qadarif province, according to Sudanâ€™s military. Another Sudanese officer and three civilians were wounded in the incident, according to the Sudanese statement.
Ethiopia’s foreign ministry issued a statement on Sunday saying that â€œthe two countries should work together through existing military mechanisms to address and jointly investigate circumstances surrounding the incident,â€ adding that the two countries should not descend in to hostility.
â€œWe are of the view that such incidents are best addressed through diplomatic discussion based on the cordial and friendly relations and peaceful coexistence between the two countries,â€ said the Ethiopian statement.
In Sudan, Brig. Amer Mohammed al-Hassan, a spokesman for Sudanâ€™s military, on Sunday called for Ethiopian forces to stop their alleged support to the militias and to prevent them from entering Sudanese territory. He suggested deploying a joint force to the border area.
â€œThis could solve the issue,â€ he was quoted as saying by the Arabic language version of Sky News.
Sudanâ€™s foreign ministry had earlier urged Ethiopiaâ€™s government to â€œtake necessary measures to stop these attacks.”
Ethiopian farmers have for years planted crops in Sudanâ€™s al-Fashqa border area and that was tolerated by the government of former President Omar al-Bashir. But Sudanese transitional authorities, who took over after the militaryâ€™s ouster of al-Bashir last year, have recently engaged in talks with Ethiopia to encourage Ethiopian farmers to withdraw from Sudanese territory.
Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, head of Sudanâ€™s ruling sovereign council, toured the border area last month after an attack. Since the visit, Khartoum has deployed more troops to its eastern border with Ethiopia to stop incursions.
AP journalist Samy Magdy in Cairo contributed to this report.