The El Gedaref-El Galabat highway remains closed for the fifth day in a row. People in the area of El Hamra in East El Galabat locality blocked the road on Wednesday in protest against the fatal shooting of a farmer by Ethiopian gunmen earlier that day.
The protesters demand that the attackers be brought to justice as soon as possible. They also seek protection during the agricultural season, imposition of the rule of law, disarmament in the region, specified grazing tracks for pastoralists, and the removal of livestock of herders from their farms.
The 1,600 kilometre border between Sudan and Ethiopia was drawn in colonial times. No clear demarcation of the border has been made since the country became independent in 1956. The lack of clear border markers has made it easy for Ethiopian militants to occupy fertile farmlands in eastern El Gedaref.
Ethiopian farmers have been cultivating crops for decades along the border. The lands are protected by Ethiopian gunmen. Farmers in El Fashaga and the El Gedaref governor have demanded that these lands be returned to them.
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