Commander-in-Chief of the Sudanese armed forces and president of the Sovereign Council, Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, denied that his forces did not cross the international border.
In his speech on Thursday during the 65th anniversary of Sudanese Independence, he said the Sudanese Forces “have not and will not cross international borders or attack neighbouring Ethiopia,” as quoted by the Sudan Tribune.
However, he said, “that the Sudanese army had been redeployed along the Sudanese side in the border with Ethiopia.”
His denial about the occupation of Ethiopian territories came days after Ethiopian authorities disclosed that they will continue diplomatic efforts to resolve the border issue with Sudan without ruling out the military option to defend the country should the Sudanese Forces continue to control territories.
Local Ethiopian authorities said earlier this week that the Sudanese forces have crossed the border and occupied territories in Ethiopia — in some places up to 40 kilometers inside Ethiopia.
Last week, Sudanese authorities claimed that they have recovered much of the cultivable land that was under “the occupation of Ethiopia.”
The Sudanese “invasion” of the Ethiopian territories came several weeks after the Ethiopian troops posted in the area were withdrawn due to the law enforcement operation against Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) which started in early November.
Advancing Sudanese army met with resistance from a local militia but was later overpowered by mechanized Sudanese army.
Properties of more than 50 agribusiness investors were destroyed, according to local sources. Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister, Demeke Mekonen, reportedly demanded the withdrawal of Sudanese forces from Ethiopian territories and compensation for the farmers whose properties were destroyed as a result of Sudanese invasion.