On Friday, representatives of Addis Ababa in the Ethiopian-Sudanese Joint Borders Committee accused the Sudanese army of “killing and displacing” Ethiopian farmers living along the border between the two countries, describing this as “unacceptable.”
The Ethiopian delegation explained, in a statement published by the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on its Facebook page, that the Ethiopian-Sudanese borders “have been the subject of disputes between the two countries for more than a century, and that the tension in relations between the two states and the two peoples was nothing more than a border dispute.”
The statement said that the border demarcation agreement was signed for the first time in 1902, but the two sides did not specify it. However, Charles Gwynn, a British surveyor, worked to demarcate the borders alone in 1903, when Sudan was under British rule, but Ethiopia did not accept the new map.
The statement added that the two countries agreed to redraw their borders by signing to exchange notes on 18 July 1972, to solve the problem of their common borders, which have been effectuated in a series of joint United Nations treaties.
According to the memorandums of understanding, the two countries agreed to resolve the border dispute amicably, as each party would remain on its territorial part of the border until formalising the demarcation with the acceptance of the two sides.
The statement said that due to robust friendship ties between the Ethiopian and Sudanese governments, the issue of the common borders was historically handled amicably, noting that Sudan’s move at the present time to cross the border and forcefully change the situation on the ground violates the agreement reached between the two countries, which is not accepted under international law.
The statement added that “the Sudanese army has killed, displaced, and severely damaged Ethiopian farmers living along the border, which is unacceptable. There is pressure from external forces that do not want friendship between the two countries. The Sudanese side must work to reach a solution that is consistent with the previous agreement between the two countries.”