The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) on Wednesday expressed concern over the Ethiopia-Sudan border dispute.
“The Executive Secretary calls on the two sisterly countries to exercise utmost restraint and avoid actions that can further heighten tensions and to actively seek diplomatic means to find a lasting and sustainable solution on the matter,” an IGAD statement said.
Both Ethiopia and Sudan are founding members of IGAD, an East African trading and security bloc of eight nations founded in 1986.
The eight IGAD member states are Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan and Uganda.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat also called on Ethiopia and Sudan to exercise restraint and initiate dialogue regarding their border dispute.
Ethiopia and Sudan are currently accusing each other of “provocations” over a deadly border incident that happened last week.
On Monday, Sudan decided to file a formal complaint to the United Nations Security Council against Ethiopia, while the Sudanese foreign ministry decided to immediately recall its ambassador to Ethiopia for consultations and to summon the Ethiopian ambassador in Khartoum to inform him of Sudan’s condemnation.
On Tuesday, the Ethiopian army rejected allegations that it executed seven captive Sudanese soldiers and instead accused Sudan of engaging in military provocations against Ethiopia.
Ethiopia and Sudan have longstanding competing claims over the Al-Fashaqa border region, an area of fertile land settled with Ethiopian farmers that Sudan claims is within its boundary.