July 3, 2007 (KHARTOUM) — A joint Sudanese-Ethiopian committee would start today to hand over agricultural lands to residents of more than 17 Sudanese villages located in eastern Atbara River along the Ethiopia-Sudan border.
The agricultural lands remained a source of dispute for more than 100 years.
Governor of Al-Gadarif State, in eastern Sudan, Abdelrahman al-Khidir told Akhir Lahzah that this step came as an implementation of 1971 agreement which stated re-demarcation of the border between the two countries.
He added that technical arrangements have been finished and a committee of seven experts from each side would give the Sudanese farmers their lands, pointing out that his government is ready to append these farmers with the current agricultural season.
He said that with the end of the committee’s work which might last for a week, the lands would be back to their owners.
He explained that they have formed 17 cooperative societies in addition to other previous societies in order to support the farmers within the framework of the agricultural campaign on one hand and to consolidate the Sudanese land on the other.
Furthermore the governor called for dealing with the border issue with a good spirit between the two countries, adding that people should look at the border issue as an area of integration not of conflicts.
He explained that the final operation of border re-demarcating which might conclude after the autumn season would put an end for all kinds of security breaches and instability situation in the area.