Sudanese government report says 3,000 asylum-seekers hail from Ethiopia's restive Amhara region, which borders conflict-hit Tigray state.

Amhara and Tigray regions, which both border Sudan, are locked in a decades-old land dispute that has become a flashpoint in the current crisis.
Amhara and Tigray regions, which both border Sudan, are locked in a decades-old land dispute that has become a flashpoint in the current crisis. (TRTWorld)

Three thousand Ethiopians have crossed into Sudan, according to a government report seen by the AFP news agency, hailing from the Amhara region which borders the conflict-hit Tigray region. 

The report said the asylum seekers hailed from the Amhara, which borders the conflict-hit Tigray where an eight-month-old conflict has already displaced tens of thousands. 

The two regions, which both border Sudan, are locked in a decades-old land dispute that has become a flashpoint in the current crisis.

"Three thousand people from the Qemant tribe crossed the border late today (Monday) into Taya village" in El-Gedaref state, the Sudanese government report said, adding that more were arriving. 

Taya lies in the disputed al Fashaqa district, a fertile region claimed by both Sudan and Ethiopia.

In November last year, Sudan’s military moved to take over al Fashaqa, which the government claims under a colonial agreement dating back to 1902. 

Ethiopian farmers say they have been there for decades. 

READ MORE: Tigray assault on Ethiopia's Afar causes heavy casualties, displacement

Spillover of Tigray conflict

On Sunday, Amhara regional president Agegnehu Teshager called on all armed residents to mobilise for battle against the Tigrayan rebels dubbing it a "survival campaign", according to state media reports.

Reuters said on Monday that some residents were heeding the call, as locals the agency talked to on the phone reported seeing young people and government employees lining up in response.

Amhara's government denied that forces from neighbouring Tigray had advanced further into the region, the agency said.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, winner of the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize, sent troops into Tigray last November to oust the region's ruling party, the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), a move he said was in response to TPLF attacks on federal army camps.

Ahmed has leaned heavily on security forces from the Amhara region during the fighting in Tigray.

Fighting dragged on for months before the tables turned in late June, with pro-TPLF fighters reclaiming the Tigray capital Mekelle and PM Abiy declaring a unilateral ceasefire.

The Tigrayan rebels have since pushed on into other areas, including ones claimed by the Amhara region, and the federal government has sought assistance from other regions.

The war has already killed thousands of people and pushed hundreds of thousands more into famine, according to United Nations.

READ MORE: Clashes reported between Ethiopian troops, Tigrayan forces in refugee camp

Source: TRTWorld and agencies