venerdì, Febbraio 26

Ethiopia: clashes between the Ethiopian and Sudanese armies The clashes that have taken place open the unwanted scenario of Sudanese involvement in the conflict with Tigray

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The Sudanese army accused the Ethiopian army and the Amhara fascist militias of ambushing an infantry unit inside Sudanese territory, killing 4 men, including an army officer and wounding 12 others. «On Tuesday evening, as our forces were returning to their base after inspecting the area around Jebel Abu Teyyor, within Sudanese territory, they were ambushed by Ethiopian forces and militias. the loss of life and equipment» said the Sudanese Army’s Military Media Center.

Diplomatic sources say the battle of Jebel Abu Teyyor was not the only one. Fierce clashes also occurred yesterday morning in the areas of Al-Osra, Al-Quraysha and Abu Teyyour. The latter within the disputed territories of Al-Fashaqa. The Sudanese Army General Staff says it is ready for a war to defend its neighbouringterritories with Ethiopia. At least 4 divisions are regrouping in the state of Gedaref near the Ethiopian border.

The clashes that have taken place open the unwanted scenario of Sudanese involvement in the conflict with Tigray. The attacks, perceived by the African Union as a new and worrying escalation of the conflict in Tigray, take place two weeks after the resumption of control of the contested border regions of BerkatNorain and Al-Fushaqa by the Sudanese army which, taking advantage of the weakness of Addis Ababa, want to force his hand to annex the disputed Ethiopian territories. At the time, the Ethiopian government had decided to limit itself to monitoring the trespass without engaging in battle on condition that the Sudanese units did not cross these territories and enter deep into Ethiopia.

A few days ago the Ethiopian parliamentary commission on the conflict in Tigray accused the Sudanese army of supporting the ‘rebels’ of the TPLF. “The commission has received reports from refugees who have returned from Sudan that the TPLF forces are supported by Sudan and are bribing the Sudanese armed forces to plot and instigate attacks on civilian refugees in Sudan” said Lemma Tessema, who is parliamentary committee chairman. If the alleged Sudanese support for the TPLF could be a reality, the attacks against Ethiopian civilians in Sudan are a real Fake News. It is highly unlikely that the TPLF is plotting violence on refugees who are 100% Tigrinya.

The clashes between the two armies began 48 hours after Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok‘s visit to Addis Ababa where he met his counterpart Abiy Ahmed Ali. During the visit, regional security and the GERD dam issues were discussed. The Sudanese Premier said that negotiations on the waters of the Nile will resume in the near future with the mediation of experts from the African Union with the role of connecting and mediating the views of the three countries (Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan) in consultation with the president and the secretariat of the AU. Sudan suspended its participation in tripartite talks following the rejection of its proposal to involve mediators who can negotiate an agreement, pointing to the African Union, the European Union and the United States.

The clashes in Abu Teyyor Al-Osra, Al-Quraysha and Abu Teyyour put into play the attempt by Premier Hamdok to avoid a conflict with Ethiopia. Some regional experts suggest that the regional war would be wanted by the Sudanese military junta (made up of former Generals of dictator Omar Al Bashir, who control the Transitional Government) to increase their influence and put Hamdok in check by stopping his attempt to dismantle their economic empire created during the thirty years of dictatorship. An attempt supported by the United States that two days ago cancelled Sudan from the list of sponsor states of international terrorism.

On Wednesday evening, the Sudanese Prime Minister released a statement expressing his support for the army after the Ethiopian attack. “The Council of Ministers affirms its support and its position with the armed forces. The government affirms its confidence in the ability of our armed forces to protect the country’s borders and repel any aggression” Hamdok said in an appeal for the popular support for the army. The declaration was interpreted as a political surrender towards the military junta.

It is not the first time that the Ethiopian army and its Ahmara militiamen have clashed with the Sudanese army. At least four attacks were recorded in 2020. Addis Ababa had pledged not to repeat the attacks and formed a joint military committee in this regard.

Almost simultaneously clashes in Sudan, the European Union has decided to suspend almost 90 million euros for bilateral cooperation with Ethiopia due to the unprecedented violence committed in Tigray. The two-page document of the European Commission avoids directly blaming the Addis Ababa government for the violation of human rights, massacres of civilians and ethnic cleansing, but the decision to suspend bilateral cooperation at a diplomatic level sounds like a clear denunciation of the work of the Award Nobel Peace Prize, ‘Menelik III’, aka Abiy Ahmed Ali.

Local sources say that the forces of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front would control over half of Tigray’s territory and that the Ethiopian army, Eritrean mercenaries and Amhara militias would be in great difficulty. This would be one of the reasons for blocking foreign humanitarian aid in the northern region. News difficult to confirm due to the total blockade of information on the conflict by the Addis Ababa government. The only probable news is the continuation of the clashes between the two strong men: Abiy and Debretsion Gebremichael

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