Sudan: Technical Committee Working On Demarcation of Sudan-Ethiopian Border

El Gedaref — The Technical Committee for the Demarcation of the Administrative Borders of the three states of eastern Sudan has completed its first exploratory tour in El Gedaref state. A separate committee is working to restore authentic Sudanese place names in El Gedaref's El Fashaga at the Sudanese-Ethiopian border.

The Sudanese Border Commission yesterday announced the formation of a committee in El Gedaref that will restore authentic Sudanese place names in El Fashaga locality under the supervision of the governor and with the participation of the commission.

Moaz Tango, the head of the Border Commission, said in a press conference in El Gedaref town that the government will also work to revive the villages that have disappeared so that the villagers who fled to the area west of the El Atbara river will be able to return to their places of origin.

As for the Technical Committee for the Demarcation of the Administrative Borders of the three states of eastern Sudan, Moaz Tango said that the committee has completed its exploratory tour of El Gedaref state and will soon move to Kassala and Red Sea state.

He stressed that the committee is an official technical surveying committee "which does not aim to expel any people from the place they're living in, but seeks to confirm the historical legal and administrative facts".

The 1,600 kilometres border between Sudan and Ethiopia was drawn in colonial times. No clear demarcation of the border has been made since Sudan became independent in 1956. The lack of clear border markers has made it easy for Ethiopian militants to occupy fertile farmlands in eastern El Gedaref.

Ethiopian farmers have been cultivating crops on border lands belonging to Sudanese farmers for decades. The lands are protected by Ethiopian gunmen (called shifta in the region). Farmers in El Fashaga and the El Gedaref governor have demanded that these lands be returned to them.

The shifta regularly conduct violent cross-border raids to steal crops and livestock, or abduct people for ransom.

In early December 2020, Sudan's army regained control of a part of the border of El Gedaref after 25 years of skirmishes.

The region however witnessed an increase in cross-border incidents in May this year, which prompted Sudanese authorities to close the crossing between Galabat in El Gedaref and Metema in northern Ethiopia.

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