Armed clashes along the al-Fashaga border between Sudan and Ethiopia are the latest twist in the up-and-down relationship between the two neighbouring African juggernauts. The border dispute, rooted in historical disagreements but now inflamed by the deterioration in ties between the two countries’ new leaders, could escalate into a regional crisis and is deepened by the recent pivot of Khartoum towards Cairo amidst Sudan’s concerns over Ethiopia’s Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) project.
Annette Weber, senior fellow with the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, points to a loss in trust between the new governments in both Sudan and Ethiopia, the lack of effective communication channels between them and Addis Ababa’s new approach to the region as the main causes for the recent fallout. She talks about Sudan’s and Ethiopia’s diverging views on the soft border at al-Fashaga, the ongoing GERD dispute and the worrying rise of militias in both countries. She also discusses the future of Ethiopia’s recent alliance with Eritrea and the unclear fate of regional multilateralism. They then examine the EU’s new strategy towards the region and how U.S. re-engagement might affect the European approach.
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