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Durham e-Theses
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The Sudan-Ethiopia boundary: a study in political geography

Nur, Taha Hassan (1971) The Sudan-Ethiopia boundary: a study in political geography. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



The Sudan-Ethiopia boundary stretches from Ras Kassar on the Red Sea to Lake Rudolf which forms the tripoint of the Sudan, Ethiopia and Kenya boundaries. The 2,220 km long boundary was established between 1901-1909 by a series of Anglo-Italian treaties. Evidence from these treaties indicates that the boundary was delimited as Egypt's eastern border rather than that of the Sudan. The main objective of the delineators was to secure the Egyptian influence on the Upper Nile. The Sudan as an Independent political entity was not seriously considered in the boundary negotiations and little heed was taken as regards the interests of some border peoples. Thus, after its Independence the Sudan has to face several boundary problems; such problems are at present the core of the Ethiopian-Sudanese relations. This thesis examines the evolution of the Sudan-Ethiopia boundary from a geographical viewpoint. However, other factors which have affected its location and function are also considered. In the Introduction the place of the political boundaries in geographical studies is mentioned and the varied wealth of literature on boundaries is reviewed and the geographical approach distinguished. Chapter One is an appreciation of the physique of the area through which the boundary passes and Chapter Two gives a background to the human, cultural and tribal frontiers within the existing border zone. In Chapter Three the main developments and changes in the position of frontiers between the two countries from the earliest period to the present century is discussed. The primary territorial evolution of the political boundary is critically examined in Chapter Four and the final episode of the boundary delimitation is described in Chapter Five. Chapter Six is a geographical analysis of the boundary as regards to the physical and human landscape of the border zone. In Chapters Seven and Eight the boundary functions are discussed in detail as regards to its effects on settlement, trade (both legal and illegal), population and population movement. Chapter Nine examines the causes, effects and results of the contemporary border problems between the Sudan and Ethiopia and Chapter Ten gives a comprehensive conclusion to the whole thesis and suggests some practical steps to minimize the existing border problems.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:1971
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:18 Sep 2013 09:29

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