Sudan’s acceptance to the United Arab Emirati (UAE)’s initiative on the border standoff with Ethiopia depends on placing border markers first, said the spokesperson of the national security council on Thursday.
In a statement released after a meeting chaired by the head of Sovereign Council with the participation of the prime minister, Defence Minister Yssain Ibrahim said the meeting discussed the UAE’s initiative among others.
Ibrahim and Foreign Minister Mariam al-Mahdi were in Abu Dhabi to discuss the initiative with the Emirati officials on 26 March. However, the government did not make public a statement on the initiative, which further proposes to mediate the stalled talks over the filing and operation of the giant hydropower dam.
“Sudan’s position on the initiative depends on placing border markers in accordance with the 1902 Agreement as a basis for any subsequent cooperation or understandings,” said the minister.
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Sudan refuses Ethiopia’s call for negotiations to demarcate the border at the fertile triangle of Al-Fashaga, but Sudan rejects the claim pointing to the 1902 and 1972 agreements on the border.
Officials in Khartoum say Ethiopian farmers can cultivate Al-Fashaga as foreign investors, once the markers are installed.
The UAE’s initiative on the border dispute speaks about investing money to establish agriculture schemes in the Fashaga area and to ensure the UAE’s food security. The land will be cultivated by the Ethiopian farmers and the benefits will be distributed between the three countries.
The UAE and Ethiopia signed some 92 investment agreements, after a visit of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed to Addis Ababa in 2018.
The spokesman did not speak about a second Emirati initiative related to the dispute over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, the UAE proposed to the three riparian countries.