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British FM in Khartoum to discuss Sudan-Ethiopia tension

Raab also planned to meet with several civil society leaders

AP , Thursday 21 Jan 2021
Dominic Raab
FILE PHOTO: Britain's Foreign Affairs Secretary Dominic Raab walks outside Downing Street in London, Britain, September 22, 2020. REUTERS
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Britain's foreign secretary was in the Sudanese capital Thursday to discuss bilateral relations and tensions along the border with Ethiopia, Sudan's state news agency reported Thursday.

Dominic Raab, who arrived in Khartoum late Wednesday, was expected to meet with Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, head of Sudan's ruling sovereign council, Sudan's prime minister, and acting Foreign Minister Omar Qamar al-Din, said SUNA.

SUNA quoted a statement by the United Kingdom's embassy in Sudan saying Raab was set to discuss the situation along the Sudan-Ethiopia border, where violent clashes between Sudanese forces and Ethiopian militias have taken place, leading to concerns of a potential military conflict between the neighboring countries.

Raab was also expected to discuss with Sudanese officials the ongoing water dispute between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia. The dispute concerns Ethiopia's construction of a controversial dam on the Blue Nile River, the main tributary of the Nile.

Raab also planned to meet with several civil society leaders, SUNA said.

A  popular uprising led  to the ouster of longtime autocratic Omar al-Bashir in April 2019, after nearly three decades of rule. A military-civilian government is now in power.

``Sudan is passing through a critical juncture in its transition to democracy,'' Raab was quoted by SUNA as saying. ``The U.K. takes pride in standing by the side of the Sudanese people.``

*This story was edited by Ahram Online.

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