Ethiopia,Sudan to meet again in Khartoum to pursue political consultation

by Zelalem

Sudanese Delegation and a delegation from Ethiopia reportedly reached agreement to “combat illegal activity” along the borders of the two countries 

May 18, 2020

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia disclosed on Monday that the two-day long political consultation with Sudanese delegation is completed.

The Sudanese delegation arrived in Ethiopia last Friday for the talks over the border issues days after declining Ethiopian proposal regarding first phase filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

A joint statement from both parties said that the meeting “was held in a cordial and friendly atmosphere reflecting the longstanding fraternal relations between the two countries based on good neighborliness and mutual understanding.”

High-level Sudanese delegation led by Sudan’s Minister for Cabinet Affairs, H.E. Omar Bashir Manis, and an Ethiopian delegation led by Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen held a two days consultation between May 16 and May 18.

The border between the two countries was the agenda item. According to the joint statement, “the two countries have agreed to continue the discussion and to create a conducive environment for the resolution of the boundary issues within the existing frameworks and on the basis of agreed and signed documents.” But no further detail is disclosed.

However, it is disclosed that Ethiopian and Sudanese delegation will have a “High-level political meeting” at the end of June 2020, and the purpose is to follow up from the just-concluded meeting between the two countries.

In the meeting in Addis Ababa, the two parties “agreed to strengthen cooperation and to combat any illegal activities and ensure the security of people along the border area and reinforce people-to-people relations,” as disclosed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia.

It is, however, undisclosed as regarding the identities of groups involved in the “illegal activity.”

There has been a reported skirmish along the Ethio-Sudanese border in North-Western Ethiopia in the past few weeks. 

Based on reports from DW Amharic service, Ethiopian investors engaged in agribusiness in the area are unable to carry out their economic activity due to security problems involving armed groups on the Sudanese side of the border. These armed groups are allegedly claiming lands within Ethiopia. 

In July 2018, there had been a similar skirmish between Ethiopian farmers and Sudanese border soldiers. At the time, it was reported that at least five Ethiopian farmers were killed.

In March 2019, the two countries had reached agreement to work together on border security

Two years earlier,Ethiopia and Sudan launched what was then described as “joint border force” to patrol the border against “human trafficking” and robbery. 

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