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Al-Burhan pledges to defends Sudan’s territory during visit to border area with Ethiopia

Abdel-Fattah al-Burhan, the head of Sudan's ruling military council, attends an emergency summit of Gulf Arab leaders in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Thursday, May 30, 2019 (AP Photo)April 8, 2020 (GEDAREF) - In a speech delivered near the Ethiopian border, the head of Sudan’s Sovereign Council, Abdel-Fattah al-Burhan, declared that the armed forces will vigorously defend the country’s borders.

Residents of the area told Sudan Tribune, on Wednesday that the Ethiopian army has begun to penetrate into Sudanese territory, and has distributed Sudanese lands to Ethiopian farmers.

Accompanied by senior army officers, al-Burhan travelled to the border area of Doka, where the army deployed troops recently, amid reports of military build-up on the other side of the border.

He paid a visit to the headquarters of forces deployed on the Sudanese-Ethiopian border, where he was briefed about the security situation in the area.

The head of the Sovereign Council was accompanied by Chief of Staff Staff Major General Mohamed Osman al-Hassan, the Director of the General Intelligence Service Jamal al-Din Abdel Majeed, and a number of army senior officers.

"We would not hesitate to protect Sudan’s borders, and we will not allow intrusion on our territory," al-Burhan said according to a statement released military information service.

"The armed forces are ready to protect the country and protect its borders. This is a sacred duty that will never be overlooked."

Last Saturday, army spokesman Amer al-Hassan, in statements to Sudan Tribune admitted that Ethiopian armed gangs expel Sudanese farmers from their areas.

Local sources say the Ethiopian army intervenes to protect them when they put their hand on the land of Sudanese farmers.

On March 30, the Sudanese army deployed troops for the first time since nearly 25 years in the disputed area of "Little Fashqa", on the border with Ethiopia, which witnesses tensions from time to time due to gang activity in the region.

The Sudanese army spokesman said that the recent deployment of forces in the region is required by the need to maintain the security but also it is part of the precautionary measures taken by the government of Sudan to fight the spread of coronavirus pandemic.

"The forces are deployed to secure the area from the conflicts that occur between farmers (Sudanese and Ethiopian) during the preparation for the agricultural season."

(ST)