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UAE withdraws from Sudan, Ethiopia border row mediation

Juba, South Sudan, 24 May 2021 – The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has made a U-turn on mediating the border tension between Sudan and Ethiopia as the two countries also sink deep into the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam saga.

The twist comes just two months after the Sudan Sovereign Council welcomed an initiative by the UAE to mediate talks between the two countries.

The UAE proposed an initiative to establish agricultural schemes in the Al-Fashaqa area of Gadaref State. However, 25% of the claimed area will be cultivated by Ethiopian farmers.

This comes after Gen. Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, Chairman of Sudan’s Transitional Military Council traveled to Abu Dhabi recently to inform the UAE leadership of Sudan’s dare request to demarcate the border first before any project or presence of Ethiopian manpower in the area.

In March, a report by Reuters revealed that tensions surrounding the control of farmland in al-Fashqa, on the border, were escalating.

On Sunday, the transitional government of Sudan was officially informed by the UAE of its withdrawal of the initiative to broker the border conflict between Sudan and Ethiopia.

According to an Abu Dhabi-based Asharq newspaper, the UAE affirmed its respect for Sudan’s position about the need to place border markers first according to a report citing sources at the Sudanese collegial presidency.

Sudanese officials say Ethiopia has abrogated the border agreements signed in 1902, 1903, and 1972. The officials vowed never to allow the presence of Ethiopian farmers again in the border area unless the markers are clearly established.

In a statement seen by Nyamilepedia, Sudan’s Finance Minister Girbil Ibrahim confirmed recently that the Gulf country had proposed to invest $8 billion in this project.

But Burhan, flanked by the minister of cabinet affairs minister could travel to Abu Dhabi to reiterate Khartoum’s position after pledges made by his deputy to positively consider the UAE’s investment project, officials say in Khartoum.

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