Border Dispute Cannot Be Resolved Unilaterally, Say Member of Ethio-Sudan Joint Boundary Commission

Addis Ababa January 6/2021 (ENA) The Ethio-Sudan border dispute can be resolved legally based on the existing treaties and international law as the issue of boundary is bilateral that cannot be resolved unilaterally, according to Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In a press briefing he gave today, Member of Ethio-Sudan Joint Boundary Commission at  Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Ibrahim Idris, said  the northern boundary of Daglish Mountain between Ethiopia and Sudan can only be re-demarcated after the governments of the two countries reach amicable solution.

The two countries have signed Exchange of Notes constituting an agreement between the countries to re-demarcate their border in 1972 as repeated disagreements occurred with regard to the border, he added.

According to him, both parties agreed to maintain the status quo until a lasting solution is found to the problem of agriculture and settlement in the northern part of the border and a joint special committee was set up for this purpose.

Until then, the current situations and realities will remain in place, which means that the Exchange of Notes required that the status quo be respected by both countries, the boundary commission member elaborated.

However, the Sudanese army recently invaded the northern part of Daglish Mountain, following the deployment of security forces in Tigray Region for the law enforcement operation, and put the status quo at risk.

Ambassador Ibrahim revealed that the Sudanese army has committed organized crime using heavy weapons since November 2020. The army had destroyed and looted farms, killed and injured as well displaced several citizens. 

The Sudanese army has therefore seized the border area by force violating international law, he said, adding that Sudan may be held accountable for violating the 1972 agreement which dictates that current situation and realities will remain in place and the Exchange of Notes that requires the status quo to be respected by both countries until the dispute is resolved amicably.

Ambassador Ibrahim further noted that the issue of boundary is bilateral, not unilateral; adding that the structures set up by the two countries should be used to resolve the demarcation issue.

He stressed that the tragic act of the Sudanese army is not also compatible with the long-standing relations between the two countries; and Ethiopia will make all the effort to resolve the issue peacefully. 

Moreover, Ambassador Ibrahim underlined that the Sudanese army should respect the agreement reached and the two sides need to resolve the issue peacefully as such kind of disputes will not benefit the countries.   

Ethio-Sudan Joint Boundary Commission member Wuhib Muluneh said on his part that international experience shows that border demarcation issues can only be resolved through negotiations and dialogue.

He said Ethiopia and Sudan are expected to use their joint border commission, joint technical committee, and joint special committee structures to resolve their issues.

Ethiopian News Agency