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Ethiopia and Sudan resume talks over disputed border

Dec 23, 2020
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ADDIS ABABA – Sudan and Ethiopia have resumed their second high-level political committee meeting on border issues in Khartoum on Tuesday, state-affiliated Fana has reported, days after Addis Ababa ended crackdown at Tigray region.

The Ethiopian delegation headed by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen was in attendance of the meeting opened in the Sudanese capital, and the meeting could have been triggered by the recent IGAD conference in Djibouti.

Speaking at the opening of the meeting, Demeke said Ethiopia always attaches great importance to its relationship with the people and Government of Sudan. He further said Ethiopia is committed to working closely with the Government of Sudan in all bilateral, regional, and multilateral issues of common interest.

Demeke further said the strong and longstanding ties between the two countries are intertwined and whatever happens in Ethiopia will certainly have a spill-over effect in Sudan and vice versa.

However, he said, the recent incident at the common border of the two did not commensurate with this longstanding principle of solidarity and fraternity. Sudan hosted thousands of Tigray refugees who ran away from the war.

“Starting from November 9, 2020, we are observing organized attacks by the Sudanese Military Forces using heavy machine guns and armored convoy,” he said.

According to Demeke, agricultural products of Ethiopian farmers were looted, their camps vandalized, and they were also hampered from harvesting their own farms. A number of civilians had been murdered and wounded.

“The government of Ethiopia is very much concerned by this recent development in the border areas,” he said adding “it is endangering the agreements we have reached to maintain the status quo in the area north of Mount Dagelish.”

He said finding an amicable solution on settlement and cultivation is the only way to bring a lasting solution to the issues at the common border areas. He added securitization and unnecessary escalation will only worsen the situation and create pointless tension in the border area and disrupt the daily activities of peoples living in the border area.

In his opening remarks, Demeke also congratulated the people and government of Sudan for being delisted from the state sponsors of terrorism. Both countries have been struggling with instability for the last several months.


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