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Farmers report disputes with Ethiopian militias

July 15 - 2016 EL GEDAREF
Farmers on their land in El Gedaref (Unep)
Farmers on their land in El Gedaref (Unep)

The border strip between Sudan and Ethiopia is the scene of severe tension as a result of Ethiopian militia members who occupy agricultural lands in areas of Shangal and Gala El Luban in El Gedaref.

Farmers told Radio Dabanga that disputes and tension have affected the living conditions and the stability in the region.

They downplayed the importance of the signed agreements between the Sudanese and Ethiopian authorities, and instead demanded the Sudanese government to secure their farms with the support of the army.

The Popular Defence Forces (PDF) are unable to provide security or stability in the region, the farmers added.

This week, Interior Minister Esmat Abdelrahman acknowledged the incursion of the Ethiopian 'Shifta' gangs into the western areas of El Gedaref.

Over the past few years, the violence between armed farmers in El Gedaref's border areas rapidly increased, with many reports of Ethiopian gangs attacking Sudanese farmers in the border areas, extorting them, and occupying their lands.

At the end of last year, people in El Gedaref criticised the Sudanese government for failing to complete the demarcation of the border with Ethiopia, causing friction between Ethiopians and Sudanese over land issues.

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