Sudanese officials said that they will use all "available means" to retaliate after at least five women were killed by Ethiopian government-backed military troops near its border Friday.
After crushing rebel groups controlling its Tigray region, Ethiopia is now facing a new conflict in the contested Al-Fashqa region. Tensions between Ethiopia and Sudan have been simmering for over a decade. On Thursday, Sudan said Ethiopia of violated its airspace.
"We are all steadfast with you here until our right is proven by force, by good faith or by any other method. This is our land and we have the legitimate right to defend and protect it by all available means," the General Commander of Sudan's Armed Forces, Lt. Gen. Abdul-Fattah Al-Burhan, told soldiers Thursday.
His speech to soldiers was posted on a video on the Transitional Sovereign Council official Facebook page. Al-Burhan said that he and all of the soldiers are willing to die for Sudan "till the last man standing."
Since the conflict in the Tigray region, thousands of refugees have flooded into Sudan. The influx of more than 45,000 refugees has only served to escalate tensions between the two nations.
Ethiopia previously accused Sudan of taking advantage of the civil war being waged in the Tigray region. Ethiopian foreign ministry spokesman Dina Mufti said earlier in the week that the country was willing to resolve the issue through diplomacy but even that had its limits.
"How long will Ethiopia continue to resolve the issue using diplomacy? Well, there is nothing that has no limit. Everything has a limit," Mufti said.
The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission said that more than 80 civilians had been killed along the border earlier in the week. The organization did not identify who had committed the attack and only mentioned that the residents in Benishangul-Gumuz's Metekel Zone were "massacred."
Human rights groups and civil society organizations have expressed concerns over the escalating tensions, which they said could further destabilize and fracture the region. The United Nations previously said that millions of civilians are in dire need of aid in Ethiopia, most of which are just caught in the crossfire.