Sudan re-closes border with Ethiopia after 10-day reopening

Sudan re-closes border with Ethiopia after 10-day reopening

January 15, 2022 (GADAREF)- (sudantribune)—-Sudan closed again the Metema crossing point with Ethiopia 10 days after the resumption of cross-border movement of people and goods.

On January 10, the military-controlled Sovereign Council decided to allow the Ethiopian gas trucks to cross the border saying the humanitarian decision was taken at the request of the Sudanese ministry of energy and petroleum.

Border security sources told the Sudan Tribune that the decision to close the Metema Galabat crossing was taken by the Sudanese army Commander-in-Chief who is also the Head of the Sovereign Council. So, until now they did not get need an official notification from the Eastern Military Command to reopen it.

“We have been instructed to only allow gas trucks to cross the border without any other goods,” the officials said under the cover of anonymity as they are not authorized to speak to the media.

In July 2021, Sudan closed the border after the murder of a Sudanese military officer by Ethiopian militiamen after his kidnapping from the crossing point.

Sudanese authorities demand that the Ethiopian side arrests the kidnappers and bring them to justice.

However, border trade between the two countries resumed after a meeting of security officials from both sides last week before suspending it again on military orders.

Deputy Secretary-General of the Border Traders Committee Osman Ahmed said that rade between the two countries resumed for about 10 days based on the efforts of popular diplomacy.

The government’s daily revenues from border trade amount to seven million pounds, as tons of coffee, Ethiopian coffee, honey and others cross the border, according to Ahmed.

The monthly return from that trade is between 150-200 million dollars, he added pointing that more than 150 tons of oils cross to Ethiopia monthly from Sudan.

Several sources claim that corruption weakened the border closure saying that a number of trucks and various goods cross the border against a large sum of money.

Relations between the two countries are strained after the eruption of the Fashaga border dispute by the end of 2020 when the Sudanese army cleared the border area from Ethiopian farmers and their militiamen.

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