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Ethiopian gunmen occupy eastern Sudanese farms

October 30 - 2015 EL GEDAREF
El Gedaref (OCHA map of El Gedaref state)
El Gedaref (OCHA map of El Gedaref state)

In a recent wave of violence in El Gedaref state, at least 28 Sudanese farmers living along the Sudanese-Ethiopian border were killed and injured by Ethiopian gunmen. Ethiopian farmers are now cultivating their lands. The people in the area criticise the Sudanese government for failing to complete the border demarcation.

The federal Minister of Defence, Awad Bin Auf, however, denied violent incidents in El Gedaref state in a closed parliamentary session on the security situation in Sudan on Tuesday. The Minister of Interior Affairs, Lt. Gen. Esmat Abdelrahman, however, acknowledged the attacks.

Mubarak El Nur, MP for El Fashaga constituency in eastern El Gedaref, was surprised to hear the report of the Defence Minister.

“Everyone who pays a visit to the border area can see with his own eyes that Ethiopian gangs have taken large tracts of Sudanese farmland, after they attacked the Sudanese farmers, stole their belongings, and expelled them from their lands. Dozens of Sudanese farmers have been killed and wounded,” he told Radio Dabanga. “Large numbers of Ethiopian farmers are now cultivating the stolen lands.”

Re-demarcation of the border

The MP said that the inhabitants of the border areas in El Gedaref have been demanding a re-demarcation of the Sudanese-Ethiopian border in the area for years. “The authorities never responded. They just leave the farmers in the locality prone to attacks by Ethiopian gunmen.”

The Interior Minister reported to the Parliament on Tuesday that 28 people were killed and injured during recent attacks in El Fashaga, El Gureisha, and El Galabat localities. Seven farmers were abducted, and 295 head of cattle were stolen. He demanded a speedy dispatch of army troops to El Gedaref to secure the area.

On 10 July, Radio Dabanga reported that large numbers of Ethiopian gunmen occupied farms in El Quresha locality. In the ensuing shooting, three Sudanese farmers were killed and five were wounded. Residents of El Quresha criticised the Sudanese government for failing to complete the demarcation of the border with Ethiopia, “to deter chaos”.

One year ago, at least ten Sudanese farmers were killed in a raid by Ethiopian gunmen on farmlands in the area of Basanda.

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