There was no immediate comment from the Ethiopian government on Hamdok’s announcement on Sunday of an “emergency” meeting of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).
Hamdok traveled to Addis Ababa amid a growing refugee crisis that has seen some 50,000 Ethiopians flee conflict in the northern Tigray region to neighboring Sudan.
He is the first foreign leader to visit the Ethiopian capital since fighting erupted in Tigray on November 4, creating a humanitarian crisis and killing thousands.
Arrived in Addis Ababa today to meet with the Prime Minister @AbiyAhmedAli. I look forward to having productive discussions on political, humanitarian and security issues of common interest that serve the future of peace, stability and prosperity for our two brotherly nations and the region. pic.twitter.com/7fMTzNhPaQ
– Abdalla Hamdok (@SudanPMHamdok) December 13, 2020
A Sudanese government official told AFP news agency that the meeting between Hamdok and Abiy was “fruitful, in particular on the emergency IGAD meeting” and the revival of a committee to work on it. the delimitation of their common border.
IGAD was founded in 1996 and brings together countries in East Africa such as Ethiopia, Sudan, Djibouti, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan and Uganda.
On the Ethiopian side, Abiy, last year’s Nobel Peace Prize laureate, said Hamdok expressed support for the offensive against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) in face-to-face discussions. .
“The Sudanese side reiterated its solidarity with the Ethiopian government in the law enforcement operations it has undertaken,” said a statement from Abiy’s office.
Hamdok also recalled the support Abiy had previously given to Sudan, he added.
The escalation of the refugee crisis
The visit came two weeks after the Ethiopian leader declared victory in the fight against the now-fugitive regional government in Tigray.
On Sunday, Abiy said on Twitter that he visited the Tigrayan capital of Mekelle for the first time since federal forces took control of the city on November 28.
Abiy dismissed reports of ongoing clashes as “sporadic gunfire” not indicating a major fight.
I went to Mekelle and met the commanders of the ENDF as well as the provisional administration of Tigray. Telecom and electricity being restored after repair; infrastructure works in progress and humanitarian aid provided. We will continue to apprehend the criminal clique. pic.twitter.com/EkM2szlv7S
– Abiy Ahmed Ali 🇪🇹 (@AbiyAhmedAli) December 13, 2020
The conflict has alarmed the international humanitarian community since the eruption of violence largely cut off the Tigray region from 6 million people worldwide.
On Saturday, the first international relief convoy carrying medicines and relief supplies arrived in the Tigrayan capital of Mekelle, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said, but more remains to be done.
Aid trucks managed to enter the region amid international calls for more transparency in the month-long fighting.
The refugee crisis is adding to the economic and security burden on Sudan. His transitional government has already struggled under the weight of decades of US sanctions and mismanagement under former leader Omar al-Bashir, who was removed from power last year.