Sudanese authorities on Friday closed the border crossing linking the Gallabat city to Ethiopia after an armed attack on government forces on Thursday.
The Sudan Tribune quoted well-informed sources who said the decision to close the border crossing was made “in anticipation of the outbreak of violent confrontations between the two parties in light of border tensions and a state of heightened alert among the Sudanese security services in protest against the attack on the soldiers.”
The same sources indicated that an emergency meeting was held on Saturday between Sudanese and Ethiopian security committees to discuss the situation.
The Ethiopian officials expressed their objection to the Sudanese decision to close the crossing, and urged for the need to resolve differences and security issues through negotiations, while emphasising that closing the borders is not a solution in light of trade exchange and common interests between the two countries.
Sudanese officials called on Ethiopia to arrest and try the perpetrators.
The decision will mean more than 5,000 Ethiopian workers are unable to enter Sudan to harvest farmland.
The border between Sudan and Ethiopia has witnessed military tensions since November when the Sudanese army redeployed its forces in the lands of Fashaqa and recovered large areas of agricultural land that Ethiopian groups had been cultivating under the protection of militias for more than 25 years.
Ethiopia accuses the Sudanese armed forces of fuelling the tension on the borders by deploying forces in Ethiopia’s territory and occupying its agricultural lands.