Sudan’s government on Thursday announced a ban on civil aviation in the airspace of Al-Qadarif state which borders Ethiopia for security reasons.
“The Ministry of Defense has sent a decision to the Civil Aviation Authority to prevent flying over the airspace of Al-Qadarif State,” Abdelhafez Abdelrahim, the spokesman for the Sudanese Civil Aviation Authority, told Anadolu Agency.
He said that the decision was based on security reasons.
Sudan and Ethiopia have been locked in a border dispute since December when Sudanese forces entered into Ethiopian territory to reclaim their lands. The Sudanese government accuses Ethiopian farmers, backed by armed forces, of seizing lands in Sudan’s Fashaga area along the border and cultivating them since 1995.
Last month, the Sudanese army announced that Ethiopian forces and militias had attacked its troops on the Sudanese side of the border.
In related news, Sudan’s Sovereign Council on Thursday said South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir has expressed his desire to mediate between Sudan and Ethiopia to help end their ongoing border conflict.
On Thursday, Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, the Chairman of Sudan’s Sovereign Council, met with Tut Gatluak, South Sudan’s presidential adviser on security affairs, who conveyed Kiir’s message, the council said in a statement.
“President Salva Kiir has expressed readiness to mediate between Sudan and Ethiopia to reach a political and diplomatic solution according to the recognized international borders in the preservation of the fraternal ties between the two countries and the peace in the region,” the statement read.
Gatluak said Al-Burhan is seeking a friendly and fraternal solution for the border dispute with Ethiopia.
The Ethiopian government also has been carrying out a military campaign in its Tigray region, which borders Sudan. Over 45,000 refugees have fled Ethiopia’s Tigray region into the Sudanese territory since the conflict began, according to the UN refugee agency.