More than 9,000 cows, sheep, and camels have been stolen by Ethiopian gunmen in the El Fashaga-Ethiopian border area. The gunmen allegedly also committed murders and are engaged in kidnappings for ransom.
El Rashid Abdelgadir, head of El Fashaga Land Victims Committee in El Gedaref state, called upon the Sudanese government “to prioritise the border file”. The people displaced from their villages should be able to return, and Ethiopian military camps in Sudan should be removed, he said.
In an interview with Radio Dabanga Abdelgadir said yesterday that four groups of Ethiopian soldiers are operating 23 kilometres in Sudanese territory. “The ousted regime of Al Bashir withdrew seven Sudanese military camps from the border with Ethiopia.”
He called on the Sudanese government to implement earlier agreements with Ethiopia concerning the demarcation of the border. He also called on the government to put in place appropriate mechanisms to compensate the victims of the many attacks in the border area.
Last month, farmers in living in eastern El Gedaref demanded their lands back. The farms have been occupied by Ethiopians for decades. The 1,600 kilometres border between Sudan and Ethiopia was drawn in colonial times but it has never been clearly demarcated since both countries became independent. The lack of clear border markers has made it easy for Ethiopian militants to occupy fertile farmlands in eastern El Gedaref.
Abakar El Wali, the Committee's secretary, reported the outbreak of kala-azar*, a deadly parasitic disease that is spread by sandflies, in the border villages of El Gedaref. He indicated that the villagers “lack the simplest services to combat the spread of the disease”.
He stated that the provision of drinking water, maintenance of roads, health care, and education have all deteriorated. He demanded that the government in Khartoum “pays attention to the people living the border villages”. El Wali also alled for the dismissal of government employees appointed by the former regime.
* Visceral leishmaniosis, also known as “black fever” and kala-azar, is a parasitic disease, killing nearly all of those infected. It is caused by the bite of sandflies. If blood containing leishmanial parasites is drawn from an animal or human, the next person to receive a bite will then become infected and develop the disease. Months after this initial infection the disease can progress into the more severe form of kala-azar.