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Sudan deeply concerned by recent development in Tigray: statement

TPLF fighters welcomed after the capture of the Tigray capital Mekelle on 29 June 2021 (Getty Images)July 3, 2021 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese government said deeply concerned about the recent developments in the northern part of Ethiopia in Tigray and called on all parties in the neighbouring country to use peaceful means to resolve their differences.

The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) fighters retook control of the Tigray region capital Mekelle on Monday 28 June, seven months after they withdrew from the city in November 2020.

Following the dramatic turn, the Ethiopian government announced a unilateral humanitarian ceasefire but the TPLF rejected the truce saying they want the Ethiopian army and allied troops out of the region.

In Khartoum, following a high-level meeting involving the head of the Sovereign Council, the Prime Minister, and the Foreign Minister, the transitional government issued a statement on the ongoing armed conflict near the Sudanese eastern border.

"The Sudanese government is deeply concerned about the ongoing developments in Ethiopia, which may have a negative impact on regional stability, especially on neighbouring countries," reads a statement released by the foreign ministry after the meeting.

The Sudanese government vowed to work with the Ethiopian parties to settle the conflict and enhance Ethiopia’s unity. Khartoum further said it would work with the regional and international community to achieve peace in the neighbouring country.

"The Sudanese government calls upon all parties in neighbouring Ethiopia to stop fighting, join the negotiating table, and to facilitate humanitarian access to all the needy population," stressed the statement.

The conflict in Tigray Ethiopia has driven over 60,000 refugees into impoverished eastern Sudan. The United Nations agencies and aid groups struggle to evacuate them from the border and provide them with shelter.

The United Nations Security Council on Friday called on the TPLF to cease hostilities after the unilateral ceasefire announced on 28 June by the federal government.

In a briefing to the Council, Rosemary Dicarlo, Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, said that issues "plaguing the country must be addressed in a comprehensive and sustainable way".

She, also, stressed that an inclusive ceasefire should not only "facilitate the provision of humanitarian aid, but also be a starting point for political efforts to chart a way out of the crisis".

Hamdok reacts

Before the meeting, Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok issued a statement to voice his support to the call for a ceasefire in Tigray by the Security Council.

"I agree with the positions that were expressed (at the meeting) especially by the African member states of the Council regarding the consolidation of a comprehensive and permanent cease-fire, ensuring the delivery of humanitarian aid to the Tigray region and a comprehensive national dialogue Which does not exclude anyone in order to maintain the unity, security and stability of Ethiopia," said the Sudanese premier.

"For our part, Sudan will provide all support and assistance to the sisterly neighbour Ethiopia to overcome its current crisis," he added.