The Sudanese Minister of Interior, Esmat Abdul Rahaman has accused Ethiopian “gangs” for killing at least 16 Sudanese farmers in an attack at the common border with Ethiopia.
The minister told parliament on Thursday that at least 16 Sudanese farmers have been killed and another 12 injured in clashes with some Ethiopian armed groups in El Gadaref State on the border.
Rahaman stated that the Ethiopian armed groups have attacked the Sudanese regular border forces and the farmers in the areas of Fashaga, Algalabat, Giraisha and Sanda in the locality of El Gadaref.
“At least 16 Sudanese civilians have been killed, 12 injured, 7 abducted and almost 300 cattle were raided in the past few days by the Ethiopian attackers,” the minister told parliament.
Sudan and Ethiopia have agreed to settle their border disputes last year. They also agreed to deploy joint border patrols to combat the outlaws, human trafficking and the other criminals on the common borders. But the agreement has not been implemented.
Repeated similar clashes at the border area have been reported in the past between the armed Ethiopians farmers and local Sudanese farmers.
National Assembly speaker, Ibrahim Ahmed Omer, has requested the Sudanese Ministry of Interior to deploy more military and police reinforcements on the border with Ethiopia to protect Sudanese territories and the farmers.
Sudanese farmers on the border areas have repeatedly claimed that Ethiopian armed farmers seek to seize their fertile lands.
Parliamentarian member for El-Gadaref town, Ismail Ahmed Musa last week accused the Ethiopian armed groups of seizing 794 Kilometers of the Sudanese farm lands in the eastern Sudan state.
Governor of Gedaref state, Sarghani Salih, also in the past accused the Ethiopian forces for occupying more than a million acres of Sudanese agricultural land in Al-Fashaga.
In June, Deputy Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Demeke Mekonnen, however, said the land his government forcefully occupied in 1996 from Sudan has been returned. He didn’t specify the size of the land that was given back to Sudan.
Ethiopians have deep resentment against their current government for “abandoning” their fertile land and territory to Sudan.