January 11, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - For the first time on Thursday Sudan officially admitted that the deployment of troops along the Eritrean border came as result of military threats from Eritrea and Egypt against the country.
Last Saturday 6 December, Sudan closed its border with Eritrea after the deployment of thousands of troops from the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) fighters to Kassala State on the border with Eritrea. Also, the local authorities formed a higher committee for popular mobilization.
A meeting of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP)’s leadership office "has directed to continue security arrangements on the eastern Sudan borders after being briefed about possible threats from Egypt and Eritrea in the region of Sawa (located near the Sudanese border)," said Presidential Assistant Ibrahim Mahmoud who is also the deputy chairman of the ruling party.
Mahmoud was speaking in the first hours of Thursday morning to the reporters after a meeting attended by the First Vice President Bakri Hassan Saleh who briefed the meeting about the alleged threats after a two-visit to Asmara before on 20 December 2017.
Sawa region near the Sudanese border is hope of a centre for the military training of recruits. Different reports recently claimed that the area received Egyptian troops with logistical gears and vehicles.
The presidential aide said that the briefing included relations with Egypt after the recall of the Sudanese ambassador from Cairo, "especially after the media attack on the Sudanese people and the Sudanese leadership," he added.
He was referring to the media lynching against the Sudanese president and Sudan by the pro-Egyptian government media after the visit of Turkish president to Khartoum and eastern Sudan coastal town of Suakin.
The are several issues between Cairo and Khartoum including Sudan support to the Ethiopian renaissance dam, border dispute over Halayeb triangle and the ban on Egyptian farming products.
Eritrea was in good terms with Sudan but Asmara was frustrated by the improvement of relations with Addis Ababa particularly after the signing of a mutual defence treaty between Sudan and its foe Ethiopia in April 2017.
Sudan’s army chief of staff, Emad al-Din Adawi, last week met the Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegnebut nothing filtered from the meeting.
Cairo and Asmara didn’t react to the statements of the Sudanese presidential assistant. Also, Cairo didn’t take any reciprocal action in response to the recall of the Sudanese ambassador to Khartoum by his government.