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Sudan Tribune

Plural news and views on Sudan

Eritrea to host initial eastern Sudan meeting next week

Message from Eritrean President

Al-Burhan receive a message from President Isaias Afwerki handed over by FM Osman Saleh on April 16 2022 SC photo

August 2, 2022 (KHARTOUM) – Eritrea’s president will convene a preliminary meeting of tribal leaders in eastern Sudan next week to discuss ways to end the inter-communal violence and restore peaceful coexistence at the border region.

According to Al-Sudani newspaper, the Eritrean government will hold a meeting next week in Asmara to prepare for a peace conference in eastern Sudan. The preparatory workshop will gather Native Administration and political leaders.

The invitation for the meeting was addressed directly by President Isaias Afwerki.

“(We) will participate in a conference sponsored by Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki to discuss the situation in the region; in the next few days,” a local leader confirmed to Sudan Tribune under the cover of anonymity.

However, the source said that the meeting comes at a time when the region is witnessing unprecedented stability over the past three years.

Also, he stressed the need not to confuse the Eritrea-brokered process with the Eastern Sudan Conference stipulated in the Juba Peace Agreement.

“We are going to listen to the Eritrean leadership’s vision on how to deal with the situation in Sudan in general and the East in particular,” he added.

The meeting comes after several meetings between the Head of the Sovereign Council Abdel Fattah al-Burhan with the  Eritrean Foreign Minister Osman Saleh who handed him several letters related to this initiative.

Eritrea hosted peace talks in 2006 between the Sudanese government and the eastern Sudan Front, a loose coalition of political groups from the impoverished region inhabited by tribes that span the border area between the two countries.

After the fall of the former regime, tribal conflicts erupted in the three states of eastern Sudan between the different ethnic groups leaving a large number of dead.

For his part, the former Kassala Governor Saleh Ammar told the Sudan Tribune that the Eritrean role in the East is historical, and the Asmara Peace Agreement signed in 2006 is one of its chapters.

Ammar pointed out that the influence is mutual between eastern Sudan and Eritrea, and it is in the interest of the two countries to promote stability.

The former governor, however, stressed that the Eritrean leadership has to prepare and consider well the current complex situation in Sudan and international and regional interferences before taking any step.

In addition, he said they have to identify the stakeholders that have weight in the region and avoid dealing with groups that caused strife and brought troubles in the region to serve other agendas.

“If these conditions are realized, there is no doubt that the Eritrean role will be welcomed,” he stressed.