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Ethiopian PM says he has agreed with Sudanese leader to settle dispute

NAIROBI (Reuters) -Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and the military leader of neighbouring Sudan said on Tuesday they had reached an agreement to peacefully settle all issues, following the most recent flare-up connected to a border dispute late last month.

However, the long-running dispute over a contested fertile border region, al-Fashqa, was not mentioned, nor were any other specific issues cited.

Abiy met Sudan’s military leader, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, on the sidelines of a meeting of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), an eight-member regional bloc for the horn of Africa and neighbouring states.

“We both made a commitment for dialogue (and) peaceful resolution to outstanding issues,” Abiy tweeted on Tuesday.

Sudan’s ruling council later issued a similar statement, adding that the meeting had been “fruitful and extremely successful”.

The long-running dispute over al-Fashqa has fuelled a surge in tensions between the two countries in recent years.

In the latest accusations between the nations, last month Sudan accused Ethiopia’s army of executing seven Sudanese soldiers and a civilian who had been taken captive. The men had been seized on Sudanese territory on June 22 and taken into Ethiopia where they were killed, according to the Sudanese foreign ministry.

Ethiopia denied responsibility and blamed the killings on a local militia.

A day after the countries traded accusations over the killings, an Ethiopian official said Sudan’s armed forces had fired heavy artillery during clashes in the disputed area.

(Writing by Elias BiryabaremaEditing by James Macharia Chege, Peter Graff and Leslie Adler)

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