Sudanese Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Emad al-Din Mustafa Adawi visited capital Addis Ababa on Monday, just two days after Sudan shut its eastern border with Eritrea, according to state-affiliated FANA broadcasting service.
Gen. Adawi met Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn in the capital.
Last year, the two countries had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to enhance joint security and military cooperation between the two neighboring countries in the fight against terrorism, FANA said.
The closure of the border by Sudan came amid reports that Egypt and the United Arab Emirates had set up a military camp in Sawa in Eritrea, a northern neighbor to Ethiopia.
Eritrea, however, denies giving permission to Egyptian and Emirati military for any such activity.
According to some analysts, Egypt might want to use Eritrea as a pawn in its relations with Ethiopia, whose $4.8billion hydro dam project made Egypt uneasy.
Eritrea seceded from Ethiopia in 1993 and between 1998 and 2000 the two countries fought a bloody war in which 70,000 people were believed to have been perished.
Clashes break out near South Sudan capital in truce violation
Clashes have broken out near South Sudan's capital Juba between government troops and rebels, officials said on Friday, the latest violation of a ceasefire signed last month.The deal reached in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa between the government of President Salva Kiir and a myriad of opposition groups had aimed to end a four-year-old war in which tens of thousands of people have been killed.But several violations have since taken place, for which all sides have been blamed.On Friday, the army's spokesman Lul Ruai Koang said several people were killed after rebel troops attempted to seize a military outpost west of Juba held by Kiir's Sudan People's Liberation Army."At about 10:30 p.m. last night, bandits under the direct command of Lieutenant Colonel Chan Garang attacked the SPLA's position at the north of Kapur," he told a news conference, referring to a high-ranking officer who defected from the government last year.Koang did not give details on how many had died, but said fighting was going on.Rebels under former vice president Riek Machar, whose sacking in mid-2013 amid a power struggle triggered the civil war months later, denied the charges."That was not us, we never attack Juba," said Lam Paul Gabriel, the group's deputy spokesperson. "It is government propaganda (meant) to accuse us of violations."The conflict in the world's youngest country has been fought largely along ethnic lines, pitting forces loyal to Kiir - an ethnic Dinka - and Machar, who is Nuer.The war has forced a third of South Sudan's 12 million-strong population to flee their homes.The ceasefire is intended to revive a 2015 peace deal that collapsed in 2016 after heavy fighting erupted in Juba, with talks on a new power-sharing arrangement and a new date for polls scheduled to follow.It is also designed to allow humanitarian groups access to civilians caught in the fighting.Neighbouring countries who brokered that agreement have warned the warring sides that they would back punitive measures if violations persisted.The United States, Britain and Norway, who form a group that supported a 2005 accord that led to South Sudan's independence from Sudan, have also threatened to impose individual or group sanctions for those violating the ceasefire.Sudan's foreign ministry recalls ambassador to Egypt
Children vulnerable to conflict in Ethiopia: UNICEF
Conflict along the borders of Ethiopia's Oromia and Somali regions may separate up to 14,000 children from their families, the UNICEF said Friday.Over the past year, clashes between the two bordering communities in the region has left hundreds dead and forced tens of thousands to flee their homes."There are an estimated 84,659 conflict induced IDP (internally displaced) children of primary school age who currently do not have access to any education services in Oromia and Somali regions," the UN agency said in a statement.The statement added 120,000 children under the age of 5 and 20,000 pregnant and lactating women are in need of emergency nutrition services.The agency said $2.9 million was required for education of children of primary school age. An additional $2.9million was needed for vaccines, emergency drugs, logistics and technical health support for the internally displaced.Moreover, $2.6 million was required for nutritional needs of the displaced children under 5 and 2,400 pregnant and lactating women."As of December 2017, the overall security situation along the border of these two regions remains volatile and unpredictable," it said.Over the past two years, Ethiopia has been challenged by deadly anti-government protests in the largest regions of Oromia and Amhara in addition to ethnic clashes that flared up along border areas of Somali and Oromia regions.People have been demanding larger political freedoms and economic equity in a country where corruption and despotism are rampant.Two days ago, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn told the nation that his government will release some politicians and individuals who have either been serving prison terms or standing trials “in a bid to widen the political space."
TIKA supports young leukemia patients in Ethiopia
The Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA), Turkey's state-run aid agency, has donated essential materials to the Black Lion hospital in the Ethiopian capital in support of children suffering from leukemia.As part of the donation, TIKA gave the hospital wheelchairs, blankets, and mattresses.Speaking after receiving the donation on Wednesday, Dr. Yirgu Gebrehiwot, the director of the Clinical Service at the Hospital’s Health Science College, expressed delight over what he described as a "humane gesture".He said the beneficiary department was the only one in the country that provided healthcare for pediatric oncology patients."There is a yawning gap in the provision of pediatric oncology treatment in the country," Dr. Yirgu said, adding that more than 70,000 children across the country had leukemia whereas the oncological pediatric in-patient ward was capable of accommodating only 26 patients at a time.He called on TIKA to provide greater support for the expansion of the service.After handing over the donation, Burak Ozden, TIKA’s deputy coordinator in Addis Ababa, expressed happiness to have seen "smiling patients and devoted doctors".TIKA has so far helped equip 360 health centers and trained 3,500 health personnel worldwide.The agency's activities in Ethiopia have been focused on delivering humanitarian services and development since 2004.Turkish aid agency donates food to refugees in Cameroon