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Sudan’s al-Bashir calls to accelerate border demarcation with Ethiopia

Sudan President Omer al-Bashir meets with Ethiopia's PM Abiy Ahmed Ali in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia on 21 Aprl 2018 (SUNA Photo)
May 3, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir has called to speed up the demarcation of the Sudanese-Ethiopian borders in order to preserve rights of both countries and avoid future disputes.

Ethiopian and Sudanese farmers from two sides of the border dispute the ownership of land in Al-Fashaga area located in the southeastern part of Sudan’s eastern state of Gedaref.

In the past years, Sudanese authorities accused Ethiopia of controlling more than a million acres of Sudanese agricultural land in the area of Al-Fashaga, saying the area has been completely isolated from Sudan.

Al-Fashaga covers an area of about 250 square kilometres and it has about 600.000 acres of fertile lands. Also, there are river systems flowing across the area including Atbara, Setait and Baslam rivers.

On Wednesday evening, al-Bashir and the visiting Ethiopian premier Abiy Ahmed Ali chaired a joint meeting between the two countries at the Presidential Palace in Khartoum.

During the meeting, the Sudanese president pointed to the importance of the joint tripartite committee between the two countries including ministers of defence and interior and directors of intelligence.

He said the committee would remove all security barriers and proceed to form the joint border force between the two countries and speed up border demarcation on the ground.

“We thank Allah (God) that we have no differences on the maps and references [to draw the borders]” he said

On Tuesday, Sudan’s Minister of Interior said there are no differences between his country and Ethiopia on the official and technical status of Al-Fashaga area, calling on the Sudanese to settle on the borderline to resolve the issue.

For his part, the Ethiopian premier stressed his country’s keenness to promote the strategic partnership with Sudan in order to achieve joint cooperation in all fields.

He pointed to the need to remove all obstacles on the border in order to share the common benefits, saying “both countries have a common destiny and there are great challenges that we must overcome”.

Ali further said Sudan and Ethiopia could play an important role in achieving peace and security in the Horn of Africa, pointing they would enhance border cooperation on all levels to resolve the conflict in South Sudan.

Ethiopia and Sudan are engaged more and more in joint security, military and economic cooperation.

In April 2017, the two sides signed a number of joint agreements to promote economic relations and strengthen ties between the two countries.

Also in February, they signed multiple agreements to further boost up cooperation on a range of development activities.

In March 2012, al-Bashir announced his support to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), saying his government understands the mutual benefits the project could offer Ethiopia and Sudan.