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Ethiopian, Sudanese armies to deploy joint border forces

Ethio-Sudanese border remains a source of tension and violence due to the human trafficking and smuggling to reach Egypt and Libya.

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Addis Ababa, August 17, 2018 (FBC) –Ethiopian and Sudanese armies yesterday signed an agreement to withdraw troops from both sides of the border and to deploy joint forces to combat “terrorism”, human trafficking and to eliminate any potential security tensions.

Although Addis Ababa and Khartoum have close ties, the border area between the two countries remains a source of tension and violence between the two sides due to the human trafficking and smuggling to reach Egypt and Libya.

Sudan Tribune reported that the chief of staff of the two countries held an extraordinary meeting of the Joint Sudanese-Ethiopian Military Commission in Khartoum on Thursday after an expert meeting on Wednesday.

According to a statement released after the meeting, the two sides agreed to withdraw troops from the border in conjunction with the formation and deployment of joint forces before next December.

Further, it was agreed that a protocol of the joint forces will be signed in the next meetings of the Commission next October.

In October 2017, the security committee between Ethiopia’s Amhara region and Sudan’s Gedaref state  decided to recommend to the leadership of the two countries to deploy joint forces along the border.

Speaking after the meeting, Sudan Armed Forces (SAF)’s Chiefs of Staff General Kamal Abdel-Maarouf said the relations between the two countries are eternal, and the relations between the armies are historical.

He added that the two sides held technical mechanisms at the highest levels to settle the tensions on the common borders.

For his part, the Chief of Staff of Ethiopia National Defence Forces (ENDF), General Seare Mekonnen, said Sudan and Ethiopia had cooperated in the past to protect the common border.

He added that the joint forces would be deployed along the two countries’ borders according to the agreement and would work together to combat security threats and prevent all negative activities on the border.

General Seare was appointed as chief of staff of ENDF last June by Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed.