The government of Sudan’s West Darfur state on Friday December 7, made an announcement that the troubled state and the Republic of Chad will later this month ink a very important agreement which will give a green light and facilitate the opening of a border crossing between the two nations i.e. Sudan and Chad.
Looking at ways to better facilitate this, West Darfur’s governor Mohamed Biraima noted that a high profile delegation from Chad , precisely from the Ministries of Finance and industry are yet to visit Sudan’s West Darfur state to further discuss on how the modus operandi will be like. That is how the business transactions will unfold between Sudan and Chad. If there is one thing that has been a hindrance or an impediment to real trade at the Sudan-Chad border, it is smuggling. However, this new protocol seeks to eradicate smuggling and also increase trade revenues.
EARLIER PUSH FOR COOPERATION
Apart from this latest move to sign a protocol agreement, Khartoum and Ndjamena have been pushing hard to make their border a conducive ground for both nations. In April this year, the city of EL-Geniena played host to the Sudanese-Chadian border development conference. (el Geniena is the capital city of West Darfur state).The event that held for two days brainstormed on a whole range of issues ranging from economy, security, trade, social, cultural, media and sports cooperation between Sudan and Chad.
President Omar aL-Bashir and his Chadian counterpart Idris Deby Itno attended the April Conference and inked the final communiqué of the conference. Both leaders resolved to reinforce the judicial, police and customs collaboration on the joint borders to fight terrorism, organized crime and illegal trade in all its forms, among other things.
It was only on January 2010 that the two neighbouring countries Sudan and Chad settled their differences by signing an accord to end the flare-up which has been existing between them. Both nations accused each other of backing its rebels. Sudan’s Western Darfur state and Chad have been experiencing war, thus a reason for their strained relations. It should be noted that relations between Khartoum and Ndjamena date back to the pre-independence era. According to some pundits, Sudan played an active and major role in the political transition in Chad during the reign of then president Hissen Habre and President Idris Deby.
The flare-up in Sudan’s Darfur region and in Chad had had serious impacts on both nations, especially the vulnerable. A report published in April 2008 revealed that the conflict have pushed many people out of their homes. Almost 200,000 refugees fled into the borderlands to escape the war. The same report held that since 2003, about 500.000 people have died due to the violence, disease prevalence and hunger.
In a nutshell, the governments of Chad and Sudan have seen the importance of their border and thus are at the verge of bringing life to this border for commercial purposes. A more conducive border will boost economic activities between Khartoum and Ndjamena and also promote local trade among locals who live along the Sudan-Chad border.
AFRIC Editorial Article.