Sudan’s Deputy Chairman of the Transitional Military Council (TMC), General Mohamed Hamdan "Hemedti" Dagalo, returned to Khartoum after a two-day visit to Ethiopia where he met with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
Hemedti’s rare visit to Ethiopia comes after relations between Khartoum and Addis Ababa deteriorated due to the territorial dispute over the al-Fashaqa border region.
The TMC issued a statement saying Hemedti discussed with Abiy bilateral relations, reiterating the importance of the strong and historical ties that unite their countries.
The statement said that Hemedti and Abiy discussed issues and topics of common interest.
They pledged to work on the principle of transparent and constructive dialogue, aiming to develop bilateral relations to serve the interests and aspirations of their peoples.
Abiy tweeted: “I am pleased to welcome today Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, Vice-President of the Sovereignty Council of the sisterly Republic of Sudan. I would like to express, once again, my appreciation for the deep historical bonds that bind our two people.”
Hemedti was met at Addis Ababa airport by Ethiopian Defense Minister Abraham Belay and the Director of Intelligence.
Observers linked the visit with the border situation and the outcome of the Ethiopian conflict between the government and the Tigray Liberation Front.
Tensions have been high along the Sudanese-Ethiopian border since December 2020, with intermittent clashes after Sudanese armed forces reclaimed agricultural territories in the fertile al-Fashaqa region, which had been under Ethiopia’s control since 1995.
Ethiopia claims the territories as its own, while Sudan has cited international border agreements that back its claim.
Addis Ababa said that Sudanese forces had breached its borders and demanded their withdrawal, accusing Khartoum of exploiting the war between government forces and the forces of the Tigray regional government.