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Sudanese farmers complain of attacks by South Sudanese soldiers

October 7, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese farmers in the border area with South Sudan have complained of harassment and land grabbing by South Sudanese forces in the Blue Nile, Sinnar, and White Nile states.

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Sudanese military personnel inspect the belongings of South Sudanese on the Sudanese border on 18 April 2014 (Photo: Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)

The head of the border area farmers committee Bakhit Ammar Musa said in press statements on Sunday that the South Sudanese forces have invaded on the land estimated at 600 thousand acres owned by Sudanese farmers in the three states, pointing to the complete absence of Sudanese forces in the areas occupied by the "Southerners" as he said.

He further urged the Sudanese government to take action pointing to the seriousness of the situation in agricultural projects. He said Sudanese farmers are arrested and jailed in South Sudanese prisons by the troops that levy taxes estimated at millions on the Sudanese farmers.

Since the collapse of the former regime, several farmers delegations came to Khartoum to alert government officials about the recent incursions by South Sudanese army soldiers in the border area.

Bakhit called on the commander of the Rapid Support Forces Mohamed Hamdan Dalgo "Hemetti" to deploy his troops on the border to secure the agricultural season and noted the smuggling of agricultural fuel and subsidized goods to South Sudan.

For his part, a member of the Steering Committee of returnees from South Sudan Kamal al-Haj Ahmed, accused the South Sudanese forces from the Upper Nile of land grabbing saying they expulsed the landowners and rented it to other farmers.

For his part, Madani Mehdi Madani head of Sudanese returnees from South Sudan described what is happening at the border strip as "absurd" and called on the Sovereign Council to speed up the border demarcation and to discuss the attacks on the border farmers with the South Sudanese government.

At the independence of South Sudan, Khartoum and Juba agreed to define the border according to boundaries set up by British colonial administrators before independence in 1956, however, they have failed to find a map from the agreed period, so each side has claimed in the border areas.

Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok was recently in Juba to discuss the opening of border crossing points and proposed to sign free movement of people, goods, and service, between the two countries.

(ST)