The Economist should desist from misinforming the public on the border dispute between Ethiopia and Sudan

31 May 2022

The Economist in its YouTube broadcast entitled, “Could Ethiopia’s war in Tigray spark conflict with Sudan?” highlighted key issues regarding the border dispute between Ethiopia and the Sudan. The Economist, however, asserted that Alfashaga belongs to the Sudan. At one point in the video, it said, “In 2008 a landmark treaty was agreed, Alfashaga was recognized by both sides as Sudanese”.

This is a pure fabrication in the sense that there was no such thing as a treaty agreed in 2008 in which both sides recognized Alfashaga as Sudanese. In what appears to be an irresponsible media conduct, The Economist ventured to mislead its viewers. It is simply a fabrication. There wasn’t such an agreement made between #Ethiopia and the #Sudan.

It is necessary to correct the record and provide accurate information regarding the boundary between the two countries.

The boundary between Ethiopia and Sudan was delimited by the 1902 Treaty signed between Emperor Menelik II of Ethiopia and Great Britain, the then colonial power of Sudan. The assertion by some Sudanese officials that Ethiopia is not accepting the border demarcation under the 1902 treaty is groundless.

While the Joint Commission consisting of Ethiopian and British representatives needed to demarcate the boundary line as envisaged under the 1902 Treaty, in 1903 a British surveyor, Major Gwynn, unilaterally demarcated the boundary. The Surveyor acted in the absence of Ethiopia’s representatives and without the authorization of the Ethiopian Government. Moreover, Major Gwynn disregarded the 1902 Treaty and made discretionary adjustments to the treaty line. As a result, the Ethiopian Government rejected Major Gwyn’s demarcation.

After Sudan gained its independence in 1956, Ethiopia and Sudan conducted series of consultations on the matter and adopted the 1972 Exchange of Notes. On this Exchange of Notes, Ethiopia and the Sudan agreed to re-demarcate the boundary. They also agreed to use Major Gwynn’s demarcation as a basis for the joint work of re-demarcation. Evidently, Major Gwynn himself intended his work of demarcation to be a basis for future dealings between the two Governments.

Therefore, the rectifications to the boundary line north of Mount Dagleish are to be jointly determined by the two countries. Accordingly, the military incursion by the Sudanese army to the Ethiopian territory in the first week of November 2020 is illegal and provocative. Ethiopia firmly believes in the long-standing fraternal relations between the people of Ethiopia and Sudan and is committed to a peaceful settlement of the boundary issue.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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