Thursday, January 15, 2004

Sudan/Eritrea: detentions and accusations

On Tuesday, Sudan closed down Eritrean community centres and detained a few Eritrean nationals.

Relations between Sudan and Eritrea have been growing worse in recent months.

At tripartite talks held late last month, the leaders of Sudan, Ethiopia, and Yemen characterized Eritrea as a destabilising force in the region. Sudan accuses Eritrea of training & arming the Darfur rebels and last week complained to the UN Security Council about this very issue.
He [Foreign Minister Mustafa Osman Ismail] did not say why he thought Eritrea, which borders the northeastern corner of Sudan, would want to prolong the conflict in the south or how it was transporting arms to the west.

The border between the two has been closed since October 2002, when Sudan accused Eritrea of backing rebels on its territory. Eritrea later accused Sudan of backing Islamic insurgents in western Eritrea.
Eritrea calls Sudan's accusations baseless and said Sudan is using it as a scapegoat.