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Sudan proposes formation of joint border control force with Ethiopia

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March 7, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese and Ethiopian defence ministers Monday have pledged to implement the outcome of the meeting of the joint Sudanese-Ethiopian technical committee in a way that maintains sovereignty, security and stability of both nations.

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Units of Sudan-Chad joint border-control force in Darfur region (AFP)

In a joint press conference at the conclusion of the 14th meeting of the technical committee Monday in Khartoum, Sudan’s defence minister Awad Ibn Ouf pointed to the strategic relations between the two nations in all domains particularly the military domain which aims to achieve security and stability along the joint border.

He underscored the depth and strength of relations between the leadership of both nations, saying “we discussed what we had agreed upon previously besides ways for promoting agreements between the two countries”.

Ibn Ouf expressed his ministry’s readiness for the joint work with Ethiopia’s defence ministry to form a joint border control force to secure and develop the border between the two countries for the benefit of the two peoples.

For his part, the Ethiopian defence minister, Siraj Fergessa, said his country is to implement the outcome of the joint committee’s meeting, saying the meeting dealt with the joint needs of both nations.

He pointed that the border between the two countries is safe due to the joint security efforts, adding they agreed to exchange military training and expertise.

Farmers from two sides of the border between Sudan and Ethiopia used to dispute the ownership of land in the Al-Fashaga area located in the south-eastern part of Sudan’s eastern state of Gedaref.

Al-Fashaga covers an area of about 250 square kilometers 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.

Sudan’s Gadarif and Blue Nile states border Ethiopia’s Amhara region. The borders between Sudan and Ethiopia were drawn by the British and Italian colonisers in 1908.

The two governments have agreed in the past to redraw the borders, and to promote joint projects between people from both sides for the benefit of local population.

However, the Ethiopian opposition accuses the ruling party of abandoning Ethiopian territory to Sudan.

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