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Sudan shut down border with Eritrea

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RSF fighters deployed in Kassala State on Thursday 4 January 2018 (ST Photo)

January 6, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese government on Saturday has closed its borders with Eritrea amid heightened security.

On Thursday, Sudan deployed thousands of government militia Rapid Support Forces (RSF) fighters to the eastern state of Kassala on the border with Eritrea.

In statements to the official news agency SUNA on Friday, Kassala State governor Adam Jama’a denied that Sudan has decided to close the border crossings with Eritrea.

However, hours after his statements, Jama’a issued a decision to shut down the border crossings with the eastern neighbour, saying the move was based on the presidential emergency order.

The decision provides for “the closure of all border crossings with the State of Eritrea as of the evening of 5 January 2018 and until further directives were issued”.

Sudan Tribune has learnt on Saturday that a high-level security meeting was held in Kassala amidst heightened security.

According to reliable sources, the Sudanese government has assembled a significant number of troops and SRF elements from the various units across the country and dispatched them to the eastern border.

It is noteworthy that the Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir last week issued a decree imposing a six-month state of emergency in North Kordofan and Kassala states.

The government said the decision was prompted by security reasons pertaining to the collection of illicit arms as well as combating illegal drugs and human trafficking.

Sudan’s First Vice-President Bakri Hassan Salih last month paid a two-day visit to Asmara in which he discussed bilateral relations and issues of common concern.

(ST)

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