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UAE’s initiative aims to divide Al-Fashaga between Sudan, Ethiopia: Agar

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Malik Agar speaks at the Military Intelligence Institute in Khartoum on Thursday 8 April 2021 (SUNA photo)April 8, 2021 (KHARTOUM) - A Senior Sudanese official rejected an initiative by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to settle the border dispute with Ethiopia saying it aims to divide the claimed Al-Fashaga area between the two countries.

"The UAE wants to divide our land and we will not accept that," said Malik Agar member of the Sovereign Council and SPLM-N faction leader in remarks delivered during an event at the Horn of Africa Studies and Research Center in Khartoum on Wednesday.

Agar is the first Sudanese official to speak about the content of the UAE initiative which was disclosed by the Sudanese cabinet last month. Also, Khartoum dispatched the foreign and defence minister to Abu Dhabi to discuss the initiative without elaborating on it.

"The UAE wants to distribute our land. This is a biased initiative that will cast its shadow and repercussions on the region," added the former rebel leader who hailed from the Blue Nile region bordering Ethiopia.

According to several Sudanese officials, the UAE proposed to withdraw the Sudanese troops from the border areas that it has controlled since November 2020, divide the income of the UAE investment projects in Al-Fashaga by 40% for Sudan, 40% for the Emirates and 20% for Ethiopian farmers.

Agar said that there were no Ethiopian claims in the past but the ousted regime created this crisis.

His statements allude to the reported deal between the former president and the late Ethiopian leader Meles Zenawi providing to prevent the Eritrea-supported Sudanese rebel groups from sneaking into Sudan through his country. In return, al-Bashir allows the Ethiopian farmers to cultivate a fertile area.

"I was leading a rebellion and I know well that what is happening now is nothing but the creation of myths," he said about the claims by the government of Abiy Ahmed who reconciled his country with Eritrea.

Al-Burhan who spent most of his career in the border army repeats everywhere that al-Bashir was responsible for the current crisis because he had ordered to abandon the border military stations and redeploy troops leaving the Al-Fashaga area to Ethiopian farmers and their militias.

The border dispute gave al-Burhan an opportunity to increase his popularity as the army retook control of 95% of the Sudanese border.

The crisis dashed hopes for a regional economic market in the Horn of Africa after the end of a 20-year border conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea.

(ST)

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