Roadblock Against Ethiopian Gunmen, Shifta, Continues in Eastern Sudan

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A Sudanese high way close to the Ethiopian border, El Gedaref-El Galabat highway, has been closed for the fifth day in a row by the local community in protest against the fatal shooting of a farmer by Ethiopian gunmen last week.

The protesters demand that the attackers be brought to justice as soon as possible. They also seek protection during the agricultural season, the imposition of the rule of law, disarmament in the region, specified grazing tracks for pastoralists, and the removal of herders’ livestock from their farms.

In a separate incident, reports from Sudan indicate that two eastern Sudanese farmers were killed and two other men were abducted from their land in East El Galabat in El Gedaref, in an attack by Ethiopian gunmen, at the beginning of last week. 

Speaking to a Sudanese radio channel, a public official stated that Ethiopian gunmen Shifta, occupied and cultivated the land in East El Galabat locality.

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

The protestors link the shooting to clashes that took place between Hausa and El Lahwi tribesmen in July 2018, killing at least 11 people. This case is still pending at the court.

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