Ethiopian and Sudan border demarcation faces intense opposition from Ethiopians who believes the Ethiopian government is giving away the fertile land to Sudan with a secret deal without the approval of Ethiopian people and official study.
An online petition draws thousands of Ethiopians protesting the Ethio-Sudan border demarcation that planned to be signed by Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and Sudan’s president Omar Albashir.
In November 2014, Hailemariam Desalegn and Bashir instructed their foreign ministers to set up a date for resuming borders demarcation according to a previous agreement of the late Meles Zenawi and Sudan’s President Omer al-Bashir.
Sudan’s state minister for foreign affairs Kamal al-Din Ismail told the official news agency (SUNA) that Desalegn told 2nd vice-president Hassabo Mohamed Abdel-Rahman on Monday November 23rd that the demarcation will be resumed next month.
The petition addressed to United Nations Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki-Moon recalled that, almost two years ago, several political parties and civic society organizations had the honor to register with your office a strong protest against a secret border deal that the dictatorial governments of both countries had concluded. Although the exact details of the deal are still shrouded in secrecy, the media in both countries have recently reported that the Ethiopian Prime Minister and the Sudanese President have made public their intention to demarcate the common boundary between the two countries on the basis of that deal.
We wish to recall that the respective territorial limits of both countries were defined by treaty at the turn of the 20th century. The 1902 Treaty provided that the line delimited therein must be demarcated by officers of the two governments. If and when the decisions and recommendations of the Joint Commission were accepted by the two governments, each side was then to undertake to explain the boundary line to their respective citizens.
This, however, did not occur. Instead, Major Gwynn alone, representing Great Britain as the colonial power then administering the Sudan, travelled the whole frontier ( about 950 miles) in the space of just a few months in 1903 and purported to demarcate the boundary. In this demarcation, the line Gwynn actually marked out departed from that marked on the map attached to the Treaty in several places for reasons which he alone deemed adequate. In the event, the reasons for the departure were all self-serving and unsurprisingly ended up favoring the Sudan to Ethiopia’s detriment.
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