In a telephone conversation with Sudanese Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok, Blinken expressed “the need to ease tensions between Sudan and Ethiopia over the border area of Al Fashaga, including recent commitments to initiate a dialogue to resolve the issue,” said State Department spokesman Ned Price.
This fertile zone, claimed by both countries, has seen an escalation of hostilities with the deployment of troops from Sudan, which Ethiopia considers an invasion.
The farms border the Ethiopian Tigré region, where Addis Ababa launched an offensive against local leaders in November, forcing some 60,000 refugees to flee to Sudan.
The United States has increasingly criticized Ethiopia, a longtime ally, and Blinken previously said that the Tiger campaign involves “ethnic cleansing”.
Washington’s relations with Sudan, however, have improved considerably since Hamdok, a civilian, came to power in a transitional government after the ouster of dictator Omar al Bashir.
Sudan last week paid $ 335 million in damages to the victims of the attacks by the extremist group Al Qaeda in 1998.
The Secretary of State also discussed the latest attempts to boost diplomacy at the Great Renaissance Dam in Ethiopia, which Addis Ababa is carrying out, despite protests from Sudan and Egypt, which rely heavily on Nile water.
The negotiations led by the United States, during the administration of former President Donald Trump, did not reach a resolution. The United Arab Emirates recently offered to mediate.
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