New Cross-boarder arrangement between Ethiopia and Sudan under discussion

August 24,2016

Map source : ECADF
Map source : ECADF

Ethiopia and Sudan held a meeting to draft memorandum of understanding in the Sudanese capital Khartoum, reported Sudan Tribune.The meeting seem to be initiated by Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) – an entity which Eritrea says is a tool and under the control of Tigray regime in Ethiopia.

On the surface, the objective behind cross-border arrangement seem to have something to do with livestock trade and animal health with a particular emphasis “to enhance collaboration and cooperation on cross-border animal health and livestock trade programmes.”

Sudan and the regime in Ethiopia do have a special relation. One of the indictment against the ruling TPLF government in Ethiopia, which supported by Sudan since its rebel time as a guerrilla force, is that it gave away what critic say is about 60 kilometers stretches of Ethiopian land to Sudan in an illegal and backdoor deal. The border between the two countries stretches about 1000 kilometers north along longitudinal lines. TPLF government has been denying that no land is given to Sudan.

For years, Ethiopians farmers in the Ethio-Sudan border resisted land give away to Sudan and there has been sporadic skirmishes between Ethiopians living in the border towns and Sudanese raiders.

News of cross-border arrangement meeting between Sudan and regime in Ethiopia triggered skepticism about the real motives of the regime in Ethiopia behind this agreement and whether the talk is really about livestock trade.

In 2014, Defense ministry announced that it reached an agreement with Sudanese Defense ministry on security cooperation and the idea was to create a joint military force (read detail here)

With resistance movement against regime in Ethiopia heightening in North Western Ethiopia, it is possible that the real motive of the cross border meeting that happened in Sudanese capital last week could be something else rather livestock trade.

There are allegations that Sudanese president Omar Hassan Albashir a close confidant of TPLF leaders.

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