Atbara (ătˈbärä) [key], river, NE Africa, rising in NW Ethiopia and flowing c.500 mi (800 km) to the Nile at Atbarah, Sudan; before entering Sudan it forms the Eritrean-Ethiopian border. There are few permanent settlements along its banks. The Atbara's water level is very low, except during the rainy season (from June to October). The river is called the Tekeze in its early stages in Ethiopia and the Setit in W Ethiopia and E Sudan.
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