September 17, 2009 (KHARTOUM) – Ethiopia-Sudan joint committee will begin border demarcation between the two countries next month, a Sudanese minister said.
Engineer Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamid, Minister of the Interior announced the beginning of the demarcation of the border between Sudan and Ethiopia in the ninth of October this year by the joint Committee.
The minister further stressed the readiness of the joint technical committee to complete the demarcation to the fullest.
The minister made his statements following a ministerial meeting held in Khartoum on Wednesday to discuss the operational plan for redrawing the border between the two countries.
The meeting was attended by Mr. Salah Abdallah Gosh, presidential adviser, Gen. Abdel Rahim Mohamed Hussein, defense minister, Mr. Samani Al-Wassila, state minister at the foreign ministry and several members of the Committee.
The meeting studied the readiness of all relevant services to complete the border demarcation and ways to overcome all obstacles. In this regard, an inter-ministerial commission has been formed including the department of survey and other relevant actors.
During several years of negotiations Sudan and Ethiopia on border demarcation, the two countries agreed to implement different development projects in the joint border for the benefit of the population of the two countries in the border area.
Joint committees of the border regions from the two sides meet regularly to discuss issues of common concern and joint projects.
During the past years, Sudanese and Ethiopian farmers disputed the landownership and some gunmen pillaged border villages. The two countries also suspected rebel groups of having presence in these areas.
Some Ethiopian opposition groups and organizations said opposed to the ongoing border demarcation between the two countries and accused the government of Meles Zenawi of dislocating Ethiopian farmers from their land to cede it to Sudan.
They further say Sudan in return committed its self to deport Ethiopian opponents and letting the ruling “EPRDF security agents roam” freely in the Sudan to harass and kidnap refugees.
Yesterday the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Party (EPRP) urged Sudan to “withdraw immediately and without condition from the Ethiopian territory that it is occupying in Gondar region.”
The opposition group said Sudanese authorities had “chased away Ethiopian peasants and farmers from their land, closed farms, stationed Sudanese soldiers on Ethioppian soil, damaged farm machinery, arrested and taken to the Sudan Ethiopian nationals and even killed several others over the past months.”