On Sunday 24 January, Sudanese army units patrolling the border with Ethiopia were targeted by intense mortar fire by the Ethiopian federal army. A military source told the ‘Sudan Tribune’ newspaper that Sudanese units patrolling the area surrounding the Abu Teyyour mountains were subjected to intense mortar fire by Ethiopian federal units stationed in the Abdel-Rafi area on the other side of the border. “The Sudanese troops responded effectively to the Ethiopian fire and there were no casualties on their side. I cannot say if there have been losses in the ranks of the strike forces because they are based on the other side of the border territory. The bombing was an intentional and planned attack that undermines peaceful coexistence and fuels tensions between our two Countries“, the military official said. As expected, the Ethiopian government denies the incident.
In the version provided to the ‘Sudan Tribune’ there is an inconsistency and a strange omission. As the Sudanese units responded to enemy fire with intense fire from various heavy mortar batteries, it is not clear how these weapons were supplied to simple patrol units. The intervention of more structured units for heavy artillery fire is very likely. The omission would be on the victims. According to diplomatic sources, 12 Sudanese soldiers were killed and at least 30 injured. Information difficult to confirm due to the confidentiality shown by the government of Khartoum on the details of what appears to be a real border battle.
Since last November, Sudan has deployed tens of thousands of soldiers across the border with Ethiopia and reclaimed areas cultivated by Ethiopian farmers. The conflict in Tigray has in fact already involved Sudan, suspected of providing aid to the TPLF. At least four clashes between the opposing armies took place in Sudanese territory, putting a strain on the patience of the Transitional Government of Khartoum dominated by the military junta that ousted the dictator Omar El Bashir in April 2019 to calm the democratic revolution underway since December 2018. Last week, Sudan prevented its ambassador to Ethiopia, YibtalalAmero, from returning to Addis Ababa by land due to border tension between the two countries. Sudanese intelligence sources report that there was a risk that the Ambassador would be attacked by the Amhara paramilitary militias.
On Tuesday, January 26, the African Union made another attempt to avoid regional war by organizing a future meeting of the leaders of the two countries to find a peaceful and honourable solution on the dispute over the border territories of undisputed Sudanese sovereignty but targeted by the reborn imperial policy of the Amhara Leadership.
The UA’s attempt was scuttled by the provocative preconditions set by Prime Minister Abyi Ahmed Ali, known as the ‘Ethiopian Graziani’ for any form of negotiation on the border dispute. The Ethiopian government, state media reported, will start talks only when the Sudanese side withdraws from the territories considered to belong to the Amhara Region. “Our prerequisite for continuing the negotiations with the Sudanese side is the return to the status quo ante. Then we will discuss the border issue”, said the spokeswoman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dina Mufti, stressing that there will be no dialogue with the Sudan unless the latter withdraws his forces from the occupied Ethiopian territories. Asking a sovereign state to renounce part of its territories is further proof that the Ethiopian Prime Minister is seeking at all costs a war outside Ethiopia. Khartoum rejected Addis Ababa’s request on the declared border areas that Sudan sees as an integral part of its territory.
A war that is involving Eritrea over a de facto alliance between the bloodthirsty Eritrean dictator Isaias Afewerki and the ’reformer and democratic’ Abiy, whose objectives on Tigray are now clear but the objectives in this regard remain incomprehensible (on the Eritrean side). Sudan intelligence sources from East Africa and the Eritrean diaspora in exile in Europe confirm that in parallel with the preparations for the second Ethiopian-Eritrean offensive in Tigray with the aim of neutralizing the TPLF, the joint invasion of Sudan is being prepared.
At least 2 Eritrean divisions would be on standby to join the Ethiopian forces of the federal government and the fascist Amhara militias for an imminent invasion of Sudan. To prevent the entry of Eritrean troops, the Sudan General Staff has already mobilized two of its best fighting brigades on the border with Eritrea, the 17th and 61st brigades.
To the numerous unknowns of a regional war that seems sought at all costs, there is the clear warning of the new American Administration. In an unprecedented decision in the history of relations between Washington and Khartoum, Sudanese military leaders last Tuesday discussed military cooperation between the two countries with a visiting American delegation led by the deputy commander of the African Military Command (AFRICOM). The meeting was preceded by the arrival (Monday 25 January) of Ambassador Andrew Young on an official visit accompanied by Admiral Heidi Berg, intelligence director of the United States Africa Command and other military officials. He met with the head of the Sovereign Council Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok and the commanders of the Sudanese army.
Following his meeting with the Sudanese premier, the visiting US official wanted to emphasize that their cooperation is limited to the Sudanese armed forces, suggesting that militia forces are not included in the report. “We are working together in partnership with the Sudanese Transitional Civilian Government to strengthen the partnership between the Sudanese Professional Army and the US Army Command in Africa (AFRICOM),” Young said in media comments following his meeting with Abdallah. Hamdok. He added that his visit to Khartoum, as the first senior official of the United States Military Command for Africa, is “a step that will evaluate and promote our common interests in good governance, promote human rights and accountability, defeat terrorist threats and promoting common prosperity “.
“We are working together in partnership with the Sudanese Transitional Civilian Government to strengthen the partnership between the Sudanese Professional Army and the US Army Command in Africa (AFRICOM),” Young said in a press release following his meeting with the Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok. He stressed that his visit to Khartoum, as the first high-ranking official of the US Military Command for Africa, is “a step that will evaluate and promote our common interests in good governance, promote human rights and accountability, defeat terrorist threats and promoting common prosperity “.
The US military official affirmed his country’s support for the transitional government and works to strengthen and cooperate with it, emphasizing Washington’s effort to “establish a relationship based on dialogue, mutual trust and a common commitment to achieve greater safety and stability “. During the press release, the American delegation expressed great concern about the situation on the eastern borders of Sudan, underlining that the Sudanese army has been redeployed on the border with Ethiopia. A veiled warning to the Warlords of Addis Ababa and Asmara.
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