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.