Eastern Sudan herder killed by Ethiopian militia

A herder was killed in Khor Yabis, near the Ethiopian border, in El Gedaref, by an Ethiopian militia on Saturday.

The reason is not known, a source told Radio Dabanga from El Gedaref. “The incident is just part of a series of killings and kidnappings carried out by Ethiopian shifta gangs, supported by Ethiopian government forces.”

He confirmed that the clashes between the Sudanese army and Ethiopian forces stopped more than a week ago, following the withdrawal of a part of the Ethiopian forces from the border.

At the beginning of December, the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) regained control of the area of Khor Yabis in El Fashaga locality in eastern El Gedaref after the area had been occupied by Ethiopian farmers and gunmen (called shifta in the region) for over 25 years. Two weeks later, the Sudanese army stated that Ethiopian forces ambushed Sudanese troops, killing four and wounding 27. Last week, the Sudanese army was redeployed at the Ethiopian border.

The 1,600 kilometre border between Sudan and Ethiopia was drawn in colonial times. No clear demarcation of the border has been made since Sudan became independent in 1956. The lack of clear border markers has made it easy for Ethiopian militants to occupy fertile farmlands in eastern El Gedaref.

Ethiopian farmers have been cultivating crops for decades along the border. These lands are protected by Ethiopian gunmen. Farmers in El Fashaga, backed by the El Gedaref governor, demanded in July that these lands be returned to them.

Refugees from Tigray

On Saturday, another 711 Ethiopian refugees arrived in eastern Sudan: 693 of them via the Hamdayet crossing to Kassala and 19 via the Medina 8 crossing to El Gedaref. In total, 61,816 registered Ethiopian refugees fled the war in Tigray into Sudan.

According to the daily report of the Refugees Commission, the new arrivals were transported to El Tuneideba camp on Sunday, after the Um Rakouba camp approached its maximum capacity of 25,000 people.

Source: Radio Dabanga