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Sudan to establish joint border protection forces with Libya, Ethiopia and Egypt

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

November 9, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese Minister of Defence Awad Ibn Ouf said arrangements are underway to establish joint border protection forces with Egypt, Libya and Ethiopia.

Speaking to the parliament on Wednesday, Ibn Ouf said consultations have gone a long way between the Sudan, Egypt, Libya and Ethiopia to form these joint forces in order to achieve a secure neighbourhood, pointing to the successful experience of the joint Sudanese-Chadian border protection force.

According to the defence minister, the Sudanese army would establish a joint force with each of the abovementioned countries separately.

Ibn Ouf further pointed to the evolving Sudanese-Egyptian relations and cooperation on the various fields, saying Sudan’s openness to its neighbours has enhanced its regional role.

In January 2010, Sudan and Chad signed a normalization agreement ending a long history of mutual hostility in which both sides provided support to each other’s insurgents.

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.

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

Also, the Sudanese and Ethiopian armies last August signed an agreement to withdraw troops from both sides of the border and to deploy joint forces to combat "terrorism", human trafficking and to eliminate any potential security tensions.

In a meeting held last April in Niamey, Sudan, Chad, Libya and Niger agreed to “coordinate the actions” of their armed forces to fight against the “transnational crime” in the region.

The four countries agreed “on the establishment of a cooperation mechanism for border security and the fight against transnational organized crime”.

Last June, they signed an agreement in Ndjamena to control and monitor the joint borders.

The political instability in Libya after the collapse of Muammar Kadaffi’s regime impacted negatively the whole region and particularly, Niger, Chad and Sudan.

Al-Qaeda in the Maghreb and Boko Haram pose a serious threat to Niger and Chad while Sudan seeks to prevent trafficking of arms to Darfur and migration of mercenaries to Libya.

(ST)

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