Sudan, Ethiopia form joint committees to resolve border disputes: official

(KHARTOUM) – Commissioner of Al-Fashaga County Mohamed Adam said joint committees between Sudan and Ethiopia have been formed to tackle disputes over borderland, particularly during the rainy season.

Speaking during a visit to Upper Atbara and Setait dam on Monday, the commissioner said preparations are ongoing for the 2018 growing season.

He revealed that a number of Kuwaiti companies have made requests to invest in Al-Fashaga area, saying his county is well connected to Port Sudan and Sheikh Zayed airport which give it a preferential exportation advantage.

Adam added Al-Fashaga County has developed a plan to build tourists resorts during the next period.

Ethiopian and Sudanese farmers from two sides of the border dispute the ownership of land in Al-Fashaga area located in the southeastern part of Sudan’s eastern state of Gedaref.

In the past years, Sudanese authorities accused Ethiopia of controlling more than a million acres of Sudanese agricultural land in the area of Al-Fashaga, saying the area has been completely isolated from Sudan.

Al-Fashaga covers an area of about 250 square kilometres and it has about 600.000 acres of fertile lands. Also, there are river systems flowing across the area including Atbara, Setait and Baslam rivers.

The current borders between Sudan and Ethiopia were drawn by the British and Italian colonisers in 1908. The two governments have agreed in the past to redraw the borders and to promote joint projects between people from both sides for the benefit of local populations.

The joint Sudanese-Ethiopian High Committee announced in December 2013 that it reached an agreement to end disputes between farmers from two sides of the border over the ownership of agricultural land.

In November 2014, the former Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and President Omar al-Bashir instructed their Foreign Ministers to fix a date for resuming the border demarcation. The operation had stopped following the death of Ethiopia’s former premier, Meles Zenawi.

(Sudan T)

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