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Sudan, Chad discuss boosting joint border forces

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Joint Sudanese-Chadian border patrol forces in trucks (ST fIle photo)

April 27, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudan-Chad Security Committee Thursday wrapped up meetings to discuss ways to boost the ability of the joint border forces to preserve security and to face new challenges.

The joint border force has been deployed along the joint border in 2010 in line with a deal to stop support to rebel groups and cross-border attacks.

However, if the force has successfully contributed to improve relations and restore confidence between the two neighbouring countries, it remains needed to fight gold trafficking and banditry attacks carried out by armed gangs.

In press statements the end of the joint meetings, the Deputy Governor of West Darfur State Mohamed Ibrahim said that the joint forces’ experience was successful and exceeded its tasks to include development, reconstruction and provision of services.

He further pointed that the forces have succeeded to improve relations between the two countries, as it dispelled doubts and accusations of support to the armed opposition groups and provided security and stability in the state of West Darfur and the eastern Chad region.

However, the head of the joint operations command from the Sudanese side, Lieutenant-General Saad Mohamed al-Amin, said that the committee discussed how to overcome failures encountered in the experience and to enable the joint forces to perform their role.

"The border between the two countries is not a barrier between peoples in common areas, which have strong social ties," said Saad. before to add that the meeting was very successful and agreed to enhance the joint operation.

As a result of the end of operations by rebel groups and the presence of arms in both sides of the border, the border region witnessed to the flourishing of armed looting, smuggling of gum Arabic and gold and kidnapping of foreigners.

The authorities in both countries fear that these groups, some of whose leaders have succeeded in creating a huge wealth, can pose a threat to stability in the region.

The head of the Chadian side, General Tikkah Ramadan said the discussions focused on the need to enable the joint force to continue to achieve the objectives for which the force was established.

"Maintaining security and stability on the border, are at the forefront of these objectives," he said, stressing the need to impose the authority of the state, and avoid what leads to any problems that harm the region.

Earlier this year the two countries announced their intention to expand the deployment of the joint force to include counter-terrorism and disarmament.

The two sides announced their desire earlier this year to expand their forces to include with Chadian forces deployed in some 20 border posts between the two countries.

(ST)

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