#ASDailyScoop: Border trade checkpoint linking Benishangul Gumuz state with Sudan reopens

The reopening after nearly three years of the border trade checkpoint was attended by civilian and military officials from both sides. Picture: Benishangul Gumuz State Communication Bureau

Addis Abeba – The Benishangul-Gumuz border trade checkpoint, which connects Kurmuk with Sudan, was officially reopened on 31 March.

The reopening of the trade checkpoint serving nearby communities exchange goods and services, was closed in the wake of the global COVID-19 epidemic, according to the Benishangul Gumuz State Communication Affairs Bureau. The closing has disrupted local trade and community-to-community exchanges, the Bureau said.

Accordingly, as of the official reopening the trade checkpoint, the previous trading days, which were on Thursdays and Sundays, will be reinstated to allow the import and export of commodities and exchange of other market activities between the two sides, the Bureau said.

The reopening was officiated at the presence of senior officials including Deputy Head of the Regional State Trade Bureau, Deputy Head of the Regional Stated Peace Building and Security Bureau, Assosa Customs Branch Coordinator, Head of the Assosa Zone Peace Building Security Department, Kurmuk Woreda Administration officials, members of the 22nd Division of the National Defense Forces, Federal Police, as well as Security forces from zonal and Woreda administrations.

Security and trade officials of the two countries who spoke at the ceremony the reopening emphasized that the trade checkpoint will not only strengthen the people-to-people ties of nearby communities in the two countries, but also be of great economic significance.

However, representatives from both sides have recognized challenges, including security risks, and agreed to work together to jointly look out for stranger peace spoilers, strengthen information exchanges, jointly protect contraband trade, and create awareness among the people living along the two borders on trade and other issues of peace and security.

Similarly, officials have cautioned the two communities on both sides that trade exchanges in the border checkpoint in a manner which will not jeopardize the sovereignty of both countries. AS

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