Sudan reopens border with Eritrea

Thursday January 31 2019

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. FILE |

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

MOHAMMED AMIN
By MOHAMMED AMIN
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Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir Thursday declared open the border with Eritrea after a year's closure.

Addressing thousands of his supporters in Kassala city near Eritrea, President Bashir declared that the border would be re-opened immediately.

“Here from Kassala, I announce the opening of the border with Eritrea. They are our brothers, the policies may divide us for sometime, but what brings us together is bigger because of the joint history and geography,” he said.

Sudan closed the border in January 2018, and deployed thousands of troops to protect the region from alleged Eritrean threat.

Step down

President Bashir further vowed that he would not step down, unless through the ballot in 2020.

“This government can’t be changed through the Facebook or the Whatsapp, the only way for the political change in Sudan is through the voting,” he vowed.

Sudan has witnessed nationwide protests for six week, while the ruling party has pushed for constitutional amendments to pave the way for President Bashir's nomination for a third term.

President Bashir, in power since 1989, recently accused news outlets of inflating the sizes of the ongoing protests against his regime.

Nationwide calls

Since the protests began, the Sudanese authorities have attempted to stifle news coverage and disrupted access to the internet and social media networks, according to the CPJ documentation.

The protests began on December 19 after a government decision to triple the price of bread.

What started as rallies swiftly metamorphosed into nationwide calls for an end to President Bashir's three decades rule, with security forces brutally countering the protests.

Officials say 30 people have died in the violence, while rights groups put the death toll at more than 40 people.

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