Sudanese Troops Clash with Ethiopian Gunmen at Border

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Fresh clashes have broken out between Sudanese troops and Ethiopian gunmen, at the border shared by both countries, according to reports.

Renewed conflict erupted on Sunday after Ethiopian gangs, known as Shifta, clashed with Sudanese troops at the Metema border crossing. No official statement has been released by either government, but the Sudan Tribune says sources have revealed Sudanese military reinforcements will be sent to the area.

 

Renewed border conflict

The latest border clash comes after Sudanese troops allegedly killed eight Ethiopian nationals in September. Conflict broke out between Sudan’s Popular Defence Forces (PDF) and armed Ethiopian groups, in a clash that reportedly killed eight, including Ethiopian farmers.

Border disputes are long-running between the two countries, where farmers from either side have been known to dispute ownership of land in the Al-Fashaga area, officially located in the state of Gedaref, Sudan.

 

Calls to redraw the border

In August the governor of Gederaf called for the border between Sudan and Ethiopia to be redrawn, in the hope of ending the ongoing dispute between the two nations.

Agreements in the past had been made to resettle the border and establish joint projects between local populations, on either side of the revised border. By promoting collaboration between the two groups it was hoped a border agreement would be accepted by locals and prevent future conflicts.

Border demarcation is a tough subject in Ethiopia, however, where numerous opposition groups have accused the government of surrendering large sections of Ethiopian territory to Sudan. The ruling party in Ethiopia has denied the allegations, insisting only a small amount of land – which already belonged to Sudan – had been returned and no civilians from either side of the border displaced.

 

Featured image:

Ethiopian soldiers (02)” by MCC(AW/SW ERIC A. CLEMENT – Defenseimagery.mil, 061227-N-1328C-212. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.