- East Africa
- Ethiopia - South-Sudan - Sudan
- Conflicts - Election
Sudan - A nation divided: Eritrea and Ethiopia’s proxy war
In the early nineties, Asmara worked hand in glove with Washington to destabilize the Sudan, after Beshir’s regime fell out with the US. Eritrea not only opened up the country to CIA operatives, the SPLM, northern Sudan opposition parties like the Umma and the Democratic Unionist Party of Mirghani, but also went further to back armed rebels in Eastern Sudan (the Beja Congress among others).
Eritrea also channeled arms to the Darfur rebels and nurtured a general conflict state with the Sudan. But this situation has changed gradually with the Eritrean rulers distancing themselves from Washington and accusing the latter of fomenting plots and conspiracies to overthrow Isaias Afewerki.
Eritrean anger was exacerbated by the fact that Washington has refused to put pressure on the Meles Zenawi regime to respect the ruling of the International Court in Hague which had decided in Eritrea’s favor on the border conflict.
Nonetheless, Eritrea’s involvement on the side of the Somali radicals (more with Sheikh Aweys than with Al Shabab) also complicated the problem. The strategic concern of Eritrea being its troubled relations with Ethiopia; both help each other’s opposition and have tried to wage war by proxy. Eritrea’s stance towards the Sudan has shifted in accord with this basic concern.
Presently, Eritrea is much closer to Beshir than it is with the government of Southern Sudan (GOSS). Yet, Eritrea is visibly present in Southern Sudan and at the end of the day would prefer a united Sudan to an independent South Sudan under the domination of the West that has continuously condemned the Eritrean regime for gross violation of human rights.