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Sudan says keen to resolve border dispute with Ethiopia

August 5, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - Vice-President Hassabo Mohamed Abdel-Rahman has stressed Sudan’s commitment to resolving border issues with Ethiopia through the joint technical committees between the two countries.

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A road leading to Ethiopia-Sudan border (Photo Jamminglobal.com)

Abdel-Rahman on Sunday met with Deputy Prime Minister of Ethiopia Demeke Mekonnen who is currently in Sudan to attend the signing ceremony of South Sudan’s peace agreement.

State Foreign Minister Mohamed Abdalla Idriss told reporters following the meeting that Abdel-Rahman underlined Sudan’s commitment to promoting bilateral relations with Ethiopia and resolve all challenges particularly border issues.

He added the meeting focused on the need to enhance bilateral cooperation as well as coordination on regional and international issues of common concern.

Bloody clashes between Sudanese and Ethiopian farmers on the joint border erupted last June leading to many casualties on both sides.

Ethiopian and Sudanese farmers from two sides of the border dispute the ownership of land in Al-Fashaga area located in the southeastern part of Sudan’s eastern state of Gedaref.

In the past years, Sudanese authorities accused Ethiopia of controlling more than a million acres of Sudanese agricultural land in the area of Al-Fashaga, saying the area has been completely isolated from Sudan.

Al-Fashaga covers an area of about 250 square kilometres and it has about 600.000 acres of fertile lands. Also, there are river systems flowing across the area including Atbara, Setait and Baslam rivers.

The current borders between Sudan and Ethiopia were drawn by the British and Italian colonisers in 1908. The two governments have agreed in the past to redraw the borders and to promote joint projects between people from both sides for the benefit of local populations.

The joint Sudanese-Ethiopian High Committee announced in December 2013 that it reached an agreement to end disputes between farmers from two sides of the border over the ownership of agricultural land.

In November 2014, the former Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and President Omar al-Bashir instructed their Foreign Ministers to fix a date for resuming the border demarcation. The operation had stopped following the death of Ethiopia’s former premier, Meles Zenawi.

MEETING PRESIDENTIAL ASSISTANT

Meanwhile, Sudan’s Presidential Assistant and Deputy Chairman of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) Faisal Hassan Ibrahim has met with Ethiopia’s Deputy Prime Minister.

In press statements on Sunday, Ibrahim said the meeting comes within the framework of the continued contacts to promote cooperation on partisan and government levels.

He pointed out that the ruling parties of Sudan and Ethiopia have developed a cooperation memorandum during his recent visit to Addis Ababa saying they would sign it at a later date.

According to Ibrahim, the meeting discussed cooperation between students, women and youth sectors of the two ruling parties.

(ST)