Protests demanding the return of a civilian government to Sudan on Thursday (June 30) and Friday (July 1) overshadowed the situation at the border between Sudan and Ethiopia in the El-Fashaga triangle. However, the Sudanese army launched a major offensive in this sector on Tuesday, June 28, following the deaths of seven soldiers and one civilian, killed according to the Ethiopian army, which Addis Ababa denies. But this conflict is not new: it has its roots in a long history dating back to the last century.
The triangle El-Fashaga is a very fertile agricultural area, watered by a heavy rainy season, sandwiched between the desert of Sudan and the arid hills of Ethiopia. Sesame, sorghum and tef are grown there over 260 km2. But Ethiopians and Sudanese are fighting there even for a long time, with mortars, commando raids and infantry attack.
On the Sudanese side, we benefit from the border agreement signed in 1902 between the Ethiopian emperor Menelik II and the British colonist who ascribed this territory to Sudan. On the Ethiopian side, the forces in the neighboring state of Amhara – regional police and peasant militia – claim to guarantee the safety of the farmers who cultivate this area, who settled there after the Sudanese army withdrew from the region in 1995.
In recent times have the question of the triangle El-Fashaga has once again become a political issue in both countries. In Sudan, even as thousands of protesters demanded that civilians return to power this week, Sudanese public television, in the name of the Holy Union, displayed the hashtag “We are all the armed forces” while reporting on military operations.
The Ethiopian government, for its part, does not give up, refuses to cut itself Amhara elites who support him and who helped him wage war in Tigray.