It has been widely reported that the Eritrea-Sudanese border is closed and that Khartoum has moved troops to the area. Why this has happened is less clear.
Below are the main sources.
I include a report from the Iranian government news agency, Press TV, which alleges that Egyptian troops are training Eritrean soldiers in Sawa military academy.
This has been categorically denied by the Eritrean government and I have sources at Sawa who also say the allegation is untrue.
It should not be forgotten that Eritrea was supported by Iran with Isaias Afwerki visiting Tehran in 2008.
Eritrea then changed sides.
Eritrea now backs Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen against the Houthi rebels, who are supported by Iran.
Eritrea provides a base to the UAE and Saudi Arabia at the port of Assab.
Sudan closes border with Eritrea
SUNA did not provide reasons for the border closure.
Last week’s decree was part of ongoing disarmament campaigns against traffickers that started near Darfur and Blue Nile in October.
“Kassala governor, Adam Gemaa Adam, issued a decree ordering the closure of all border crossings with the state of Eritrea, based on the presidential decree … that declared the state of emergency in the state of Kassala,” SUNA said.
Three Kassala residents told Reuters that troops had been deployed near the border. The military spokesman couldn’t be reached for comment.
The decision was effective on Friday evening, the agency added.
January 7, 2018
Sudan sends troops to border after Egypt deploys own forces in Eritrea
The Sudanese forces have been stationed at a garrison in the border state of Kassala, as both Sudan and Ethiopia have shut down their borders with Eritrea, Sudan Tribune reported on Saturday.
The troops were deployed in anticipation of a possible influx of Eritrean refugees to Sudan’s border, the report said.
The deployment of forces came as Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has declared a state of emergency in Kasala and in North Kordofan state for six months.
According to the Sudanese newspaper Assayha, the Ethiopian government has also dispatched military reinforcements to the border with Eritrea and Sudan.
The newspaper cited Ethiopian sources as saying that the deployment of Sudanese forces came after Eritrean military reinforcements, backed by Egypt, as well as rebel movements from the Darfur region in western Sudan, were stationed at Sawa base near the Sudanese-Eritrean border.
According to Al Jazeera, a number of military and security leaders from Egypt, the UAE, Eritrea and the Sudanese rebels have held a meeting at Sawa base.
New tensions have erupted between Sudan and Egypt following Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to Khartoum in late December. Sudan announced its decision to summon its ambassador to Egypt for consultation, hours after the head of the Sudanese Border Technical Committee, Abdullah Al-Sadiq, accused Egypt of trying to “drag Sudan into direct [military] clashes.”
During Erdogan’s visit, Sudan agreed to hand over the Ottoman-era Suakin Island on Sudan’s Red Sea coast to Ankara. Turkey plans to rehabilitate the historic island in order to make it as a tourist site and a transit point for those who want to perform Umrah or Lesser Pilgrimage from Turkey to Saudi Arabia’s holy sites.
Bashir and Erdogan also signed key agreements on a variety of issues just three months after Turkey formally opened a $50 million military training base in the African country as Ankara wields growing influence in the region.
The development drew harsh criticism from the Egyptian and Persian Gulf Arab media, with some accusing Sudan of forming an alliance with Turkey, Iran and Qatar. Both the Sudanese and Turkish officials have rejected the speculation.
The Egyptian media have been severely criticizing Sudan over its support for Ethiopia and its Renaissance Dam on the Nile.
Egypt has reportedly asked Ethiopia to exclude Sudan from the negotiations about the dam, which is feared to disrupt Nile’s crucial water supply to Egypt.
Sudan shut down border with Eritrea
تعزيزات عسكرية مصرية تصل قاعدة إريترية
وتعتبر قاعدة ساوا -التي تقع في إقليم “القاش بركا” المحاذي للسودان في حدوده الشرقية- المقر الرئيس لتدريب جنود الخدمة الوطنية.
كما أنها تأتي قبيل زيارة مرتقبة للرئيس الإريتري أسياس أفورقي لدولة الإمارات العربية، وُصفت بأنها لبحث العلاقات الثنائية بين البلدين.
المصدر : الجزيرة
Sudan denies tension with Eritrea amid troop deployment to border
Thousands of soldiers of the Rapid Support Forces, an affiliate of the Sudanese army, recently arrived in Kassala State on Sudan’s border with Eritrea.
Kassala State Governor Adam Jamma said the troops came “within the framework of an emergency order and a Republican Decree relating to collection of arms and unlicensed vehicles, besides confronting human trafficking operations and smuggling of arms and commodities,” adding that “it has nothing to do with the border.”
The governor further denied reports earlier circulated by social media outlets about closure of border crossings between Sudan and Eritrea.
He said no directives were given either by the federal or state governments to close the border crossings with Eritrea, reiterating that the relationship with Asmara “is deeply-rooted and there is nothing to disturb it.”
He went on saying that “the relationship with the Eritrean security bodies and their leadership is continuing within the security framework and combating of negative phenomena.”
On Dec. 30, 2017, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir issued a Republican Decree declaring a state of emergency in North Kordofan State in western Sudan and Kassala State in eastern Sudan.
According to the decree, the state of emergency will last six months.