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Sudanese soldiers abduct Ethiopian farm workers again

Sudanese soldiers raided an Ethiopian commercial farm on Tuesday, HornAffairs learned.

The soldiers abducted at least five farm workers and seized two tractors from a commercial far near the border.

The commercial farm raided by the Sudanese is located in Benshangul Gumuz region, Metekel zone, Guba woreda, Omidela kebele.

The abducted individuals were drivers and attendants of the tractors, a source with firsthand knowledge of the matter and residing in the vicinity told HornAffairs by phone. 

The source asked not to be named fearing the wrath of local officials for speaking to media.

About 20 Ethiopian farm workers were abducted from another commercial farm in the area on April 29.

It appears they are still held in a Sudanese town just across the border.

The Ethiopian government did not officially react on the matter at the time.

However, local officials told the colleagues of the farmers that the matter is being handled through diplomatic channel.

A similar incident a year ago, however, was resolved quickly with the release of the Ethiopians.

The soldiers’ motivation remains unclear.

In a media comment after last April, a farm owner said the soldiers accused the farm workers for trespassing into Sudanese territory and also for missing cattle.

The treaties signed between Ethiopia and Britain in the first decade of the 1900s delimit the Ethio-Sudanese border. Yet, demarcation remained an elusive matter for successive governments.

A joint border commission is on working on demarcation since the mid-2000s. However the process has been kept secret.

Critics of the Ethiopian government suspect that Addis Ababa might have agreed to relinquish land to the Sudanese.

Statements seldom made on Sudanese media reinforce the perception that there is a land concession agreed upon but awaiting handover. The Ethiopian government denies such claims.

Guba woreda is home to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance dam project.

Map - Benshangul Gumuz region, Metekel zone, Guba woreda
Map – Benshangul Gumuz region, Metekel zone, Guba woreda

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Source: HornAffairs.com

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Daniel Berhane
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Daniel Berhane