South Sudan, Ethiopia to form a common border guard

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Ethiopia and South Sudan have agreed to form a joint border guard to keep the peace and stop the flow of arms between the two countries.

The two countries signed an agreement after a two-day meeting on border security that ended last Wednesday in Gambella in Ethiopia.

The governor of the state of Boma, Gen. David Yau Yau, signed on behalf of South Sudan, with Dr Gatluak Tut Khot, the president of the Gambella region, signing on behalf of Ethiopia.

"There should be a joint security force in the common border between the two states to remove or dismantle the anti-peace elements and the illegal trade in the border areas", the document reads.

Ethiopia and South Sudan are also committed to strengthening links between education and trade.

They regretted the lethal cross-border robbery carried out in Gambella in 2016 by armed Murle men (from South Sudan) resulting in the loss of more than 200 lives and kidnapping of more than 100 children.

Approximately 50 children have returned, while others are still missing.

Ethiopia asked South Sudan for the signed agreement to restore and transfer the remaining children who were abducted in 2016.

"The government of the Boma state in South Sudan should do more to restore kidnapped children and cattle that have remained large and to bring them back to the regional state of Gambella as soon as possible," it says.

The agreement also gave Ethiopia the freedom to open a liaison office in the state of Boma to promote cooperation between the Murle of South Sudan and the Anyuak of Ethiopia that resided at the common border.

The liaison office, says the deal, would help alleviate cross-border attacks by both parties.

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