An eastern Sudanese opposition party stated that the government intends to allocate a piece of land in Red Sea state for the construction of an Ethiopian seaport. It further claimed that Ethiopian troops have violently invaded El Gedaref state.
The national Beja Congress issued a press statement on Thursday, denouncing that the Sudanese government has not consulted people of the Beja tribe about the allocation of land, while they are indigenous to the area. Abu Mohamed Abu Ama, the head of the leadership's office, said that building such a seaport for the Ethiopians might contribute to the displacement of the Beja people, as it would rob them of the lands they use for farming, grazing, firewood, charcoal trade, and fishing.
Ama added that international laws on the rights of indigenous people oblige governments to consult them before establishing projects on their lands. He warned the government to not use the port for military purposes.
In August, the Beja Congress condemned the government's plans toprivatise the portsandnbsp;in Red Sea, leaving Sudanese port workers without a job.
Ama added in the party's statement that El Fashaga, east of the town of El Gedaref and bordering the neighbouring country, has witnessed the killing of farmers at the hands of Ethiopian military troops, who tresspass on their lands.
Armed Ethiopians have caused an increase in attacks, armed robberies, and abductions lately in El Gedaref. Gunmen kidnapped three farmers in Basanda near the Sudanese-Ethiopian border on Saturday. Onandnbsp;11 October, two women were abducted and two men were injured in Kassala state. In El Gedaref's El Galabat locality,andnbsp;Sudanese soldiers and an armed group of Ethiopians clashed near theandnbsp;border onandnbsp;the same day.andnbsp;
In September, armed men, reportedly from a neighbouring country, abducted a group of people in Kassala state. In El Gedaref state, a number of agricultural machines were stolen and taken to Ethiopia.andnbsp;Armed men also ambushed several vehicles on the Red Sea highway and robbed the passengers of their belongings.andnbsp;
The Sudanese-Ethiopian border line of El Gedaref state is a disputed one. Recently, Sudanese farmers in El Fashaga locality were expelled by Ethiopian gunmen. It was reported that approximately 2,000 Ethiopian farmers now cultivate the lands in the eastern part of El Gedaref state.