By Fanuel Lakew
The Ethio-Sudan Joint Border Development Commission said that human trafficking, illicit trade, small arms proliferation and anti-peace elements are challenges to the Ethio-Sudan border development. This was stated at the 16th Ethio-Sudan Joint Border Development Commission Conference held recently in Assosa.
Speaking at the occasion, Benshangul-Gumz State President Ahmed Nasir said that since its establishment in March 2000 the Commission proved the two countries readiness to reinforce the existing bilateral relations maintaining peace and security and combating illicit trade and proliferation of small arms.
Regarding the decision passed during the Commission’s 15th Conference held at Gedarif, Sudan, Ahmed also said: “We have observed ‘encouraging’ level of implementation in some areas but much remains to be done in some sectors of cooperation which require concerted efforts in areas such as human trafficking, illegal trade, proliferation of small arms and control of anti-peace elements.”
Ahmed noted that the meeting enabled them to examine the aforementioned problems and find joint solutions to all issues of mutual concern in an amicable and brotherly manner.
Ahmed also said that one of the challenges that the two countries are facing is human trafficking which is an organized criminal act with wider regional and international scope, severely affecting the most productive section of the society.
Ahmed further said that the meeting would create platform for the smooth flow of border trade, provision of better health services, improvement of border community interaction and curbing of illegal activities along the common border.
Ahmed pointed out that Ethiopia and Sudan are now being interconnected through the ever-growing infrastructural integration which demonstrates hope for regional economic integration whereby it opens the door to draw a collaborative effort in tackling problem and effectively utilizing opportunities.
He added that Ethiopia attaches particular importance to its longstanding ties understanding the brotherhood with the government and people of Sudan and hence, it always looks for ways to strengthen these exemplary relations.
Sudanese Delegation Head Farah Mustafa said that this meeting is unique because it was held in conjunction with the colourful marking of the 9th Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Day. All delegates of the four Sudanese States which share boundaries with Ethiopia taken part in the meeting, Farah added.
Farah also said that due to the fruitful meetings held previously with the Benishangul-Gumz, Amhara and Tigray States, the two countries have registered remarkable mutual development and cooperation.
The Republic of Sudan Blue Nile State Governor Hussein Yasin Hamad on his part said that the agreement which was signed previously have been implemented in both sides aimed at strengthening the two countries relations. “Human trafficking, illicit trade, communicable diseases, cultural affairs, among others were points of the discussion as they are hindrances to the two countries border development,” Governor Hussein added.
Governor Hussein also said that the meeting is aimed at implementing the interests of the two peoples’ interests.
At the meeting, chairpersons and rapporteurs were assigned to Economic, Social and Agricultural Committees of the Commission.
Ethiopia and Sudan share over 2,000 kms boundary and have a long time historical and diplomatic relations based on people’s mutual benefits.
The Benshangul-Gumz State and Blue Nile State of Sudan have their own development cooperation agreements.
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