The Africa File is a biweekly analysis and assessment of the Salafi-jihadi movement in Africa and related security and political dynamics.
Ethiopia Crisis Update: Sudan sends reinforcements to Ethiopian border after clashes
[Notice: The Critical Threats Project frequently cites sources from foreign domains. All such links are identified with an asterisk (*) for the reader's awareness.]
The likelihood of an Ethiopia-Sudan border conflict is increasing. Sudanese forces took advantage of the distraction of the Tigray conflict in northern Ethiopia to seize disputed territory. Sudanese troops claimed control of disputed territory from armed Ethiopian farmers, called shifta, in the Fashqa triangle bordering Sudan and Ethiopia in early December. These militiamen retaliated by ambushing Sudanese troops in Quraysha village in eastern Sudan’s al Qadarif state bordering Ethiopia on December 15. The gunmen killed four soldiers, including a senior officer, and wounded at least 12 others. Sudan’s army deployed reinforcements to the Sudanese-Ethiopian border to prevent “parties to the conflict in Ethiopia from using Sudanese territories in their attacks.” Sudanese military officials *promised to defend Sudanese territory and Sudan’s president *expressed support for the military on December 16.
The shifta occasionally attack Sudanese forces and civilians in the Fashqa triangle. Sudanese troops deployed to Fashqa for the first time in nearly 25 years in late March 2020 as tensions between Sudanese and Ethiopian farmers escalated in the area. Ethiopian militiamen killed a Sudanese solider in al Qadarif in late May and *killed two Sudanese farmers in late October.