Sudan: The Sovereign Council got huge hurdles to pass

The Sovereign Council or the Transitional Government of Khartoum have a lot on their plate. The Sudanese government haven’t only skirmishes on the border towards Ethiopia. The state doesn’t only have the power vacuum in Darfur as the United Nations-African Union mission in the Darfur region of Sudan (UNAMID) is winding down.

The post Al-Bashir reign isn’t smooth, as the public feels disappointed, as the current leaders have betrayed the ideals of the revolution. The military leaders with very limited amount of civilians got a big problems to fix. That is not only the issues of getting legitimacy abroad, but handle the current financial strains, which was the final straw of the oppression of the 30 years long dictatorship.

Just read this from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA. What they are stating about the current affairs in Sudan is worrying. Take a look!

OCHA stats of April 2021:

Sorghum and millet prices in March 2021 were exceptionally high, up to three times the already high March 2020 levels, mainly due to the depreciation of the local currency. The Central Bureau of Statistics reported that the inflation rate was at 342 per cent in March, an increase of 11 points from 331 per cent in February. The economy of Sudan shrank by about 72 per cent between 2015 and 2020, while the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance increased by about 130 per cent. In 2021, World Vision plans to reach 2.1 million of Sudan’s most vulnerable children across the Blue Nile, South Kordofan, South and East Darfur states” (OCHA, 22.04.2021).

What this is saying is that prices for food has tripled in a year. The inflations rate is so huge that it’s the definition of hyper-inflation. This is clearly destroying the ability of people to buy food or afford to live. When the inflation is like that and with prices on food is rising as high. That will cause demonstrations and riots. This in combination of the continued militarization of government without any proof of a transition to a civilian government. The public will address this and we could easily see their hurt and ability for a new round of revolution. This time not after Al-Bashir and his party, but to topple the Sovereign Council.

That so many people needs humanitarian assistance as well, as the state isn’t making things better. They are not able to create stability of currency, prices and with the inflation. That in combination with the lack of humanitarian assistance too. The Sovereign Council got its work cut out for it. This is just two years after its formation and with the power of the Transitional Military Council (TMC), which has the majority in it.

This is men of the military, militias and such who has the reigns. These are no technocrats or bureaucrats, except for the Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok. The ones in the council is former generals and leaders of the army. That is why it’s not strange that they are wrecking the economy. An economy which was tanking when they took power. So, they haven’t been able in two years to change the problems. While making more people suffering and possibly rising hunger, as the needs are ever growing.

The state got a lot on its plate. These recent reports is worrying and if things get more tricky in the future. Don’t be shocked if the public revolt or the population riots against their loss of value of currency, rising food prices and the constant struggle to survive. These military men are clearly not up for the job and they are not able to stabilize the situation. Peace.

Sudan: Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok letter to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on GERD mediation (13.03.2021)

Ethiopia-Sudan Tensions: Ethiopia arming the SPLM-N in the Blue Nile State

Sudanese military sources said that the Ethiopian government provided logistical support to Joseph Touka’s forces in Blue Nile, including weapons, ammunition and combat equipment. The sources indicated that the support arrived in the Yabous region on February 27, 2021 AD, and the support was received by Commander Joseph Touka and some of his forces’ commanders” (…) “The sources emphasized that the Ethiopian government aims to use Commander Joseph Touka to occupy the city of Kurmuk with the support of Ethiopian artillery, with the aim of dispersing the efforts of the Sudanese army on the eastern front” (Sudan Plus, 07.03.2021)

Who is Commander Touka? Well, his Commander Joseph Touka Ali, First Deputy Chairman of the SPLM and Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army – North. So, his not a nobody and a high ranking commander in the SPLM-N. 

The SPLM-N killed Sudanese soldiers in early January 2021 in Malkan, Blue Nile State. So, these rebels are still active and it is suspicious that the Ethiopian government is supporting and supplying them with arms. That is a deliberate act to destabilize and strengthening one rebel outfit or militia. I am sure the Ethiopian government would be happy, if the Sudanese suddenly begun to give Samri or the TPLF abundantly arms as well. They would be crying out loud and call it interference in their “internal affairs”.

This is a devious act of Addis Ababa to weaken Khartoum leadership in one of their states. Not only have the skirmishes and battles in the Al-Fashaqa region. They want to intervene and use other proxies in the Blue Nile State.

Since December 2020 … the Ethiopian army have entered into Sudan. They have gone together with the Amhara Para-Military Group “Fano” and tried to take control of border posts there. They have later been beaten back and the Sudanese have taken control of the region again. Therefore, they would maybe prefer having battles on various of fronts. This to weaken the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF). However, they were able to intercept the ploy, but this is worrying.

The worry is that the Ethiopian counterparts are willing to do this. As the Sudanese was doing the opposite when the conflict in Tigray started in November 2020. At that point, the Sudanese intercepted weapons going for the TPLF. They stopped it and confiscated it. While the Ethiopians are doing the opposite. That says it all of their objectives.

This isn’t a sign of brotherhood, but using optional proxy to weaken an enemy. As the Ethiopian army and Fano has already been attacking the Sudanese … so now they are trying to find other ways too.

The Ethiopian government supporting SPLM-N just says it all. They are not coming in peace, but seeking for more bloodshed. Their motivation is maybe revenge of the humiliation at the border in Al-Fashaqa region. They want to annex more land and the Prime Minister Abiy wants to be biggest warlord on the Horn of Africa, apparently. Peace.

Sudan: Thousands of Ethiopians seek asylum in Sudan’s Blue Nile State (23.02.2021)

This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Babar Baloch – to whom quoted text may be attributed – at today’s press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

23 February 2021

Several thousand people fleeing escalating violence in Ethiopia’s Benishangul Gumuz region have sought safety in Sudan’s Blue Nile State over the last month.

Tensions have been high in the Metekel Zone since 2019 with several reports of inter-communal attacks in the region. The situation has rapidly escalated in the past three months. The federal Government of Ethiopia declared a state of emergency in the area on 21 January 2021.

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is working closely with Sudanese authorities and partners to assess the situation and respond to the humanitarian needs of the newly arrived, many of whom have arrived in hard-to-reach locations along the border.

Benishangul Gumuz is in western Ethiopia. The current displacement is not directly related to conflict in the country’s northern Tigray region which have pushed more than 61,000 to seek safety in Sudan in recent months.

Out of the 7,000 people estimated to have arrived in Blue Nile State, nearly 3,000 have been registered. This number is expected to increase as the verification exercise continues in all the locations where refugees are being hosted.

In the past weeks, UNHCR and partners have already provided humanitarian assistance to nearly 1,000 refugees in Yabatcher, on Sudan-Ethiopia border. Refugees have received food, access to health, water and sanitation facilities, and aid supplies.

The majority of these asylum-seekers are living among the Sudanese host community who continue to welcome people seeking safety. UNHCR and partners will continue to ramp up the response to support the government in its response.

Ethiopia: Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Press Statement on Ethiopia-Sudan Border (18.02.2021)

Ethiopia-Sudan Tensions: Continued clashes on Sudanese territory

It started with new skirmishes in December 2020. When there was two times skirmishes between the Sudanese and Ethiopian troops. There was even Amhara Para-Military (Fano) involved in attacks on Sudanese soil. Therefore, it seemed deliberate from the Ethiopian side to attack border-points and venture into the Al-Fashaqa region.

Now, the last 48 hours there been reported of two more incidents. First yesterday on the 9th February 2021 one more Ethiopian Soldier died inside Sudanese territory. Today on the 10th February 2021 there been reports of 5 Ethiopian Soldiers killed and one Sudanese Soldiers on Sudanese territory. It seems more like a steady planned attacks from the Ethiopian side. As the Sudanese has re-established and sent brigades to control this border towards the Tigray Region.

They have now been doing this since the 13th December 2020. It isn’t one rare incident where one soldier went astray and got lost on a adventure close to the Sudanese border. No, this has happened on a steady occurrence since then. That should strike a warning. It should also make you wonder why they are trespassing and using violent means across the borders. If the Ethiopian state have plan or even a military operation to be extended from the Law Enforcement Operation, which it started on the 4th November 2020. Since they already moved several of forces to the Northern Ethiopia for that reason alone.

That is why you can start to imagine that the leaders, the commanders-in-chief had the idea of taking more land to be greater and more powerful by doing it to someone who wasn’t prepared for the invasion. The Sudanese in transition after Al-Bashir and having erratic protests would be a fitting target for a foreign invasion. That is maybe why Prime Minister Abiy saw a reason to get back the Al-Fashaqa Region from Sudan. So, that he could access and annex a valuable farmland.

We should wonder why they are doing this and ordering such skirmishes. You can also ask yourself what it is to gain to do this. The Ethiopian government already asked to calm down and stop their operation in Tigray. While they are escalating here, which is creating a bigger international crisis. As they making enemies of their neighbours, which they are so supposed to be negotiating agreements in concern of the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). Yes, Ethiopia is a sovereign, but needs allies to get best deal as possible in concern to share the Nile water. Therefore, making neighbours in combat-mode. They are most likely not friendly or sharing of things with mutual interests. As they are remembering who shot at them last and it just happened to Ethiopian army.

If Abiy and his Prosperity Party thinks this is the way to get more friends. I hate to say, but you make more enemies. As you attack and try to invade other people’s land. That will end hostile and will be fatal. Just like the recent two days has proven. This sort of play will end up in no good and there is no positive silver lining. There is only death. Just like all wars, but that is what a war-lord is promoting.

A warlord that is happy to create more havoc and political crisis. Maybe he will invite Prime Minister Hamdok for another short meeting in Addis Ababa before sending him packing without any solution. Also, order a new group to attack Sudan after that meeting. Because that happened in December and could easily happened again.

It seems like this will not be over soon. The Republic’s have already started and the war-drums are hit. However, we still have to hope that peace will conquer this. Nevertheless, the warlord of Addis seems to be striking the drums, again and again. Peace.

Ethiopia-Sudan Tensions: Second round of skirmishes at the Sudanese border

On 16th December the Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF) and Amhara Paramilitary Group (Fano) ambushed border patrol points in and around the Jabal Abutiour inside Sudanese territory. That was reported by Sudanese authorities.

There been talks since then. This was after Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok visited Addis Ababa for a few hours holding talks with Prime Minister Ahmed Ali Abiy on the 13th December 2020.

Therefore, the new reports of shelling of border-points. On Wednesday 23rd December 2020 Ethiopian army and same Amhara paramilitary group attacked Sudanese army points in Jebel Abu Tuyor in Eastern El Gedaref.

This is the second time in the same month the Ethiopian forces are attacking the region and creating tensions. The Sudanese is at defence and have moved more soldiers to region because of it. That is public knowledge too. As after the first attack earlier in the month. Days after the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) moved troops there.

The talks seems to futile… what is really staggering that the Nations agreed on the border and the disputed area back in April 2020. The Al-Fashqa region became officially Sudanese. However, with the current warfare. Maybe Addis thinks they can annex another region too?

This here is really worrying as the escalation is furthered. The prevalence of armed forces. The true usage of armed forces to prove a point. What is also striking is how you in one minute calls the Sudanese your brothers and the nano-seconds after the positive headlines. Your forces is attacking the brothers again. Not like the Sudanese has attacked Ethiopians or crossed into Ethiopian territory here. They have only fortified areas, which is theirs.

Just to prove the tragedy. Here is two excerpts from news sources on both attacks. First 16th December and then 23rd December 2020.

Sudan’s armed forces said on Wednesday that a number of its officers had been ambushed by “Ethiopian forces and militias” during a security patrol of the border region. “During the return of our forces from combing the area around Jabal Abutiour inside our territory, they were ambushed by Ethiopian forces and militias inside Sudanese territory, as a result of which lives and equipment were lost,” the army said, adding the attack took place on Tuesday” (Asharq Al-Awsat – ‘Sudan Says Officers Ambushed by Ethiopian ‘Forces and Militias’ during Patrol’ 16.12.2020).

On Wednesday evening, Ethiopian army and militia forces shelled the site of the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) in Jebel Abu Tuyour in eastern El Gedaref. Sudanese army forces clashed with Ethiopian reconnaissance forces near Wad Kouli” (Radio Dabanga – ‘New Ethiopian attack on Sudanese army forces in El Gedaref’ 25.12.2020).

If you see a pattern, I do. Both attacks was on a Wednesday and seems planned now. It isn’t just a coincidence that the ENDF and Fano suddenly ambush and attacks Sudanese border points. Neither is the weird outskirts of battlefields in Tigray region. No, these seems suspiciously planned. You don’t stumble on the humble a border point of a neighbouring nation.

If it was a one time thing and a boo-boo, but when you use heavy machinery and coordinate two military groups. Then it starts to seemed planned. The Sudanese better be prepared. It is like the Ethiopian authorities are testing the waters and seeing how far they can get.

While the Sudanese needs not only to fortify the area. They need to be mentally prepared. That the same folks that is hunting their own. Can easily come here for the same blood-thirst. Prime Minister Abiy isn’t a man of peace, but a warlord. That is what 2020 have told me. Peace.

IGAD: Communique of the 38th Extraordinary Assembly of IGAD – Heads of State and Government – Djibouti, Republic of Djibouti, 20th December 2020 (20.12.2020)

InterAction: Statement on deteriorating humanitarian conditions in Ethiopia (16.12.2020)

As the conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region enters its sixth week, there is an escalating risk of a regional political and security crisis, coupled with a large-scale humanitarian emergency, that could affect nearly 2 million people.

InterAction, on behalf of its humanitarian and development Member non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working to support conflict-affected communities in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, calls on all conflict parties to allow safe, free, and unfettered humanitarian access into and around Tigray, as well as the full restoration of telecommunication services and electricity.

In this highly politicized context, all conflict parties must consider and treat the humanitarian response as neutral, independent, and impartial to ensure civilian populations can access the lifesaving services they are entitled to and the aid workers serving them remain safe. InterAction reminds all parties of their obligation to protect the civilian population and civilian objects during and after the conduct of hostilities by following international humanitarian, human rights, and refugee law, and to take the utmost care to ensure that humanitarian workers, facilities, and assets are not targeted or attacked.

As nearly 50,000 Ethiopian refugees have crossed into eastern Sudan, InterAction calls for all concerned parties to allow for free movement of the civilian population seeking safe refuge and assistance within the Tigray region or outside the affected areas. This includes protecting the right to cross international borders to seek asylum and upholding non-refoulment guarantees extended to Eritrean refugees in Tigray.

InterAction also calls on donors to provide new, flexible funding, particularly for frontline NGOs, to adequately scale up and sustain the humanitarian response in Tigray, the surrounding area, and in refugee-hosting communities, while simultaneously ensuring funds are not diverted from existing humanitarian or development programs in Ethiopia.

Ethiopia: UN Emergency funding released for humanitarian response to Ethiopia’s Tigray conflict (17.12.2020)