Home | News    Thursday 6 July 2006

Eritrea denies supporting Darfur holdout rebel groups


July 5, 2006 (ASMARA) — Eritrea has denied supporting Darfur rebels who attacked Hamrat al-Sheikh locality in north Kordofan. An Eritrean official said Darfur rebels are waiting to meet Sudanese First Vice President in the coming days.

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Abdellah Jabir (ERINA)

Head of Organizational Affairs at the ruling People’s Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ) Abdellah Jabir said that Eritrea said that Sudanese government is officially informed on the presence of the Darfur rebels opposed to the Peace deal in Asmara.

Jabir indicated that the Eritrean purpose of their presence in Asmara is to engage dialogue with them to join the signed Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA). He further revealed that Sudanese First Vice President is expected to visit Asmara in the coming days to hold talks with the holdout rebel groups.

He said that the negative reaction of the Sudanese Foreign Ministry is not justified; noting that what was occurred in Kordofan is in contradiction with Eritrean efforts to bring peace in Eastern Sudan and Darfur.

Jabir said the holdout rebels asked to meet the Sudanese First Vice President and Khartoum was informed about this request. He further added that Salva Kiir will be very soon to meet the rebels.

The Eritrean official didn’t elaborate which rebel group would meet the Sudanese First Vice President. Abdelwahid al-Nur of SLM, or the recently established National Redemption Front (NRF).

Analysts say that Hamrat al-Sheikh attack was planed by one of the NRF factions before its foundation. But is attributed to the NRF just to advertise the newly sealed front.

Sudan has summoned the Eritrean ambassador in Khartoum, Issa Ahmed Issa, to ask why Eritrea is playing host to a Darfur rebel alliance that attacked a town, the Sudanese foreign minister said on Wednesday.

Eritrean-Sudanese relations have substantially warmed in recent months and Asmara sent an ambassador to Khartoum in June. Asmara is mediating in talks intended to end a simmering decade-old conflict in Sudan’s arid east.


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