Sudan summoned the Ethiopian ambassador to Khartoum on Tuesday in protest against his statement about Ethiopia’s downing of a plane that allegedly had come from Sudanese airspace.
An official with Sudan’s Foreign Ministry condemned Yibeltal Aemero Alemu’s Monday statement confirming that the Ethiopian forces had shot down a plane carrying weapons for the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) after it passed through Sudanese airspace and violated Ethiopian airspace, the ministry said in a statement.
“These unfounded allegations are contrary to the usual diplomatic traditions in communicating with the official authorities… especially since the two countries’ leaderships seek to strengthen bilateral relations,” Fadl Abdullah Fadl, director general of African affairs with Sudan’s Foreign Ministry, was quoted as saying in the statement.
Last week, the Ethiopian air force claimed that it shot down a plane carrying weapons to the “rebel TPLF that had violated Ethiopian airspace via Sudan.”
The incident came as a new round of fighting started between the Ethiopian government forces and the TPLF.
On Aug. 24, the Ethiopian government accused the TPLF of resuming fighting in the county’s northern region. Meanwhile, the TPLF reportedly said a humanitarian truce, signed in March, had been violated by government forces.
The United Nations said that it is concerned about reports of airstrikes in Ethiopia’s Tigray region.
“We’ve seen these reports of airstrikes in Mekelle (the capital city of Tigray), which have caused damage to infrastructure and civilians, more importantly,” said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. “It’s a very concerning development.”
Although the United Nations has staff in Mekelle, the world body is not in a position to confirm the airstrikes. UN staff in Mekelle are safe and sound. But the communications and the ability of staff to move around are complicated, said the spokesman.
Ethiopia, Africa’s second most populous nation, has seen a devastating conflict between government-allied troops and forces loyal to the rebel group since November 2020, which has left millions in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.