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Sudan says summoned Ethiopia’s envoy after 29 bodies found in river

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The file photo shows the Setit River, runs between Ethiopia and Sudan. (Via AFP)

Sudan’s Foreign Ministry says it summoned Ethiopia’s ambassador to Khartoum on August 30 after 29 bodies were found on the banks of a river flowing from Ethiopia.

In a statement released late on Tuesday, the ministry said the Ethiopian envoy was told the bodies were found between July 26 and August 8 on the Sudanese side of the Setit River, known in Ethiopia as the Tekeze.

The ministry said the corpses were identified by Ethiopians residing in the Wad al-Hulaywah area of eastern Sudan.

The river runs along Ethiopia’s border with Eritrea before crossing into Sudan at the point where the three countries meet.

Tensions between Sudan and Ethiopia have been running high due to a spillover of the conflict in Ethiopia's northern region of Tigray.

Tens of thousands of refugees from Ethiopia have fled to Sudan to escape fighting.

The Sudanese government has offered to act as a mediator between Ethiopia’s conflicting parties.

Millions are at risk of starvation as the brutal civil war in Tigray is reaching a turning point, with thousands of captured Ethiopian government troops arriving in the region.

Tigray has been the scene of fighting since Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed sent the army in early November 2020 to topple the dissident regional authorities, which emerged from the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF).

After early successes and a premature declaration of victory, government forces were bogged down in a vicious and months-long battle with pro-TPLF fighters. The Ethiopian army was backed by troops from the neighboring Amhara region and the army of Eritrea, which borders Tigray.

The lengthy conflict between Ethiopian federal governments and the Tigray front has already affected negatively not only Sudan and Ethiopia in particular but also the Horn of Africa in general. This has prompted all regional states to seek for a way to end the conflict in Ethiopia.

Also jeopardizing the stability in the region is a dispute over a giant hydropower dam on the Blue Nile.

Sudan condemned Ethiopia’s start of the second phase of filling the controversial dam earlier this year, warning that the move violated existing agreements between the two countries.

A historic border dispute over fertile agricultural land in an area known as al-Fashaga is another bone of contention between the two African neighbors.

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