Tue. Jun 18th, 2024

Ethiopian Reporter reported that South Sudanese militants have reportedly taken control of a gold mine in southwestern Region of Ethiopia.

South Sudanese militants, who had crossed the Ethiopian border 150 km through the former Southern Nations, Nationalities and People’s Region (SNNPR) years ago, pushed an additional 20 kilometers and seized control of the Surma gold mining site in southwestern Region of Ethiopia.

The militants have been in control of the mine for about a month and have been engaged in gold mining, according to the regional peace and administration bureau. As a result, the state has stopped producing gold in a traditional way, Bureau Chief Andinet Ashenafi told The Reporter.

According to Andinet, the southwestern state of Ethiopia shares a large border with South Sudan. According to the official, in the early 1990s, the district had a center called Mardur, and due to repeated attacks and looting by South Sudanese militants, the district was relocated to Kibish. Kibish is about 50 kilometers from Mandur, while South Sudanese militants have pushed a total of 150 kilometers.

“This region was a stronghold of Rak Machar during the crisis in South Sudan,” Andinet said, recalling that the Ethiopian government had been active in the past due to its relationship with Rak Machar. He also said that despite the government’s knowledge, Rak Machar’s troops entered as far as Mizan Teferi and camped there.

However, after the stabilization of South Sudan, forces from Rak Machar and Salva Kiir failed to capture Mardur, the former Suri district headquarters. He added, “[The militants] are going beyond Mardur and looting. There they build shelters for their cattle and guard them with weapons. In our own country, our pastoralists cannot use grazing land and water. This has been going on for a long time, ”he said.

2008 He described the looting as “slow” in talks between Ethiopia and South Sudan.

He said the militants had camped at Bachage, 20 km stretch of land, in addition to the 150 km they had previously occupied. Andinet said the weapons of the militants were not commensurate with the clutches of local pastoralists.

“Over a month ago, militants have set up camp in Minish, 20 km from Kimish, in Suri district, and started extracting gold,” he said. He added, “In the past, when there was a drought, they would bring their cattle to graze and water, but when the drought was over, they would not sit still. They are now becoming the owners of the land, ”he said.

Speaking to the federal government on the situation in the area, forum has been set up to resolve the issue peacefully. He said he had previously held talks with South Sudan on such issues. He said the option of resolving the issue by force was not an option given the two countries’ situation, adding that a peaceful approach with South Sudan was the government’s position.

Thursday, June 16, 2014 EC He also expressed concern over the lack of demarcation work with South Sudan. Speaking on the current status of Ethiopia’s demarcation, Dr. Bilelaw Belay, author of the book “Ethiopia’s Unfinished Homework”, said the demarcation work with South Sudan has not been addressed. He said South Sudan has been a country for more than a decade, but no joint border commission has been set up.

He said Ethiopia’s border with South Sudan through Gambella and southwestern Ethiopia is rich and could lead to problems in the future.

By Chala Dandessa

I am Lecturer, Researcher and Freelancer. I am the founder and Editor at ETHIOPIANS TODAY website. If you have any comment use caalaadd2@gmail.com as email contact. Additionally you can contact us through the contact page of www.ethiopianstoday.com.

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