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Sudan Interior minister visits Ethiopia amid tension over border dispute

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KHARTOUM, May 31, 2004 (Sudan Tribune) — The Sudanese minister of internal affairs, Abdalrahim Mohamed Hussein, led a high level delegation today to Addis Ababa. This trip comes at the time where tension is reported between the two countries over the border demarcation.

Sources indicated that Sudan does not appreciate the Ethiopian attitude over the border demarcation particularly after the refusal of the Ethiopian government to attend the joint commission agreed upon to deal with the border dispute.

Sudan stated his intention to resolve this issue. The Sudanese president Omer Al-Beshir has expressed during his visit to Gadaref State last week the will of his government to reach a negotiable solution with its neighbouring Ethiopia.

But Ethiopian position seems unclear and the local Ethiopian authorities have already distributed a part from the disputed land to Ethiopian farmers.

Ethiopian government tends to avoid discussions over the subject because they disagree with Sudan on the delimitation of the border, sources revealed.

Ethiopia and Sudan are engaged in informal alliance based on their antagonism with the Eritrean regime.

Also, Khartoum is collaborating actively with Addis Ababa to contain the hostile actions perpetrated by the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) launched from Sudan’s territories.

Earlier in May, an Ethiopian army unit entered Fashaga district of Gadaref State in pursuit of suspected fugitive members of OLF.

The Ethiopian soldiers cleared several Sudanese villages on the border, threatening residents with destruction of their homes if they did not leave.

With peace in the South and the expected political solution for the Darfur conflict, Sudan may normalise relations with Eritrea.

Observers denoted the presence of Eritrean Foreign minister in the ceremony of the signing of the peace deal between the Sudanese government and Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) in Naivasha, Kenya.

Eritrean minister was there as representative of IGAD countries, but Sudanese authorities did not make any objection against his participation, as it was the case in the past.

Officially the visit is meant to brief Ethiopian leaders about the protocols of peace which said between the government and the SPLM.

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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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