Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, yesterday called on Sudan and Ethiopia to engage in dialogue, exercise restraint and refrain from military escalation in the Al-Fashqa disputed border area.
Faki said in a statement that he was following with "deep concern" the military escalations between Sudan and Ethiopia and appealed to both countries to "completely refrain from any military action whatever its origin," calling for "dialogue between the two brotherly countries to solve any dispute."
He pointed out that the recent border escalations should not impede diplomatic efforts to solve the internal challenges facing both countries and urged both sides to hold negotiations under "the auspices of the AU Border Program".
Earlier on Sunday, the Sudanese army said that Ethiopia had abducted and executed seven Sudanese soldiers and a citizen.
However, Ethiopia said the Sudanese soldiers had been abducted by local militia while the Ethiopian army announced its readiness to work with its Sudanese counterparts in the investigations.
The Ethiopian army has also hoped the Sudanese government would distance itself from any escalation.
The quarrel over Al-Fashqa, which lies within Sudan's international boundaries but has been settled by Ethiopian farmers for decades, has escalated in recent years alongside a diplomatic spat over Ethiopia's construction of a hydropower dam.