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No Progress in Sudanese-Ethiopian Border Talks

Dec 24, 2020
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Two days of Sudanese-Ethiopian border talks have seen no progress.

Representatives from both countries agreed at the end of the meeting in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, on Wednesday to submit reports to their leaders and hold a subsequent meeting that would be determined through diplomatic channels in Addis Ababa.

The meeting came just days after a cross-border attack by Ethiopian forces and militias in the Abu Tyour area in eastern Sudan’s al-Qadarif province.

The military had deployed “large reinforcements” into Qadarif to reclaim territories controlled by Ethiopian farmers and militias in Sudan’s al-Fashqa border area.

According to a Sudanese cabinet statement, the high-level joint political committee meeting on Sudanese-Ethiopian border issues was held in a friendly atmosphere that reflects brotherly bilateral relations that are based on the principles of good neighborliness, cooperation and mutual understanding.

The Sudanese delegation was headed by Minister of Cabinet Affairs Omar Bashir Manis, while the Ethiopian side was headed by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Demeke Mekonnen.

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok had earlier stressed the importance of holding transparent dialogue between both countries’ military and political leaderships to resolve the border demarcation problem.

His remarks were made on Tuesday during his inauguration of the Supreme Committee for delineating the border between the two states.

The meetings of the joint political committee are aimed at addressing border issues through existing frameworks, and on the basis of agreed and signed documents, the cabinet explained, saying members are expected to set the date for the start of field work to demarcate the border.

Hamdok and his Ethiopian counterpart, Abiy Ahmed, agreed during their meeting on the sidelines of a summit of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to speed up in convening the joint Supreme Committee.

Manis has confirmed at the opening session of the talks that the committee will resolve the outstanding border delineation issues.

Mekonnen, for his part, highlighted the importance of maintaining the deep-rooted bilateral relations and warned that the escalation would exacerbate the situation and disrupt the daily activities of both peoples.

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