Late 2018 and early 2019 was monumental for Sudan. The people of Sudan were defiant in their persistent struggles for change. Their struggles to bring change was mostly led by young people and women. We remember the iconic Alaa Salah, whose photo went viral globally. She was just inspirational.
the removal of long-time dictator Omar Al Bashir, Ethiopia supported the people
of Sudan as they worked on their transition. Ethiopia indeed played a
significant role in those days. The people of Sudan had hopes and aspirations. Civil
society started to flourish. There were many positive developments. Young people and women, who were very
instrumental in bringing down Al Bashir were confident Sudan was on the right
things have been complicated for over a year now. The Sudanese leadership was
unpredictable. Sudan's stand on the Grand Ethiopian
Renaissance Dam (GERD) was very confusing and unethical. At times Sudan was
not defending its own interests and was not ready to compromise despite calls
from concerned Sudanese intellectuals. It was rather acting to satisfy the demands of Egypt,
which was very unfortunate for Sudan. To make Sudan’s relationship with Ethiopia
even worse and complicate things further, Sudan has been accused of supporting TPLF
terrorist group that is waging war on Ethiopia, an important strategic neighbour
of the Sudan. In short Sudan’s policy on Ethiopia was very confused depending
on the civil or military leadership. Initially it sounded that Sudan’s civil
government led by Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok wanted to work with Ethiopia constructively,
although it had challenges from the military, which has strong ties with Egypt.
past one year therefore has been a challenge for Sudan’s Prime Minister, who
was going through lots of pressure not only internally but also from western
powers, especially the United Sates. USAID’s administrator Samantha Power was
one of those putting undue pressure on Sudan and pushing it to the edge. For Administrator
Power, it was all about getting what she wanted to achieve, not about Sudan’s
strategic interest. It was about the Humanitarianism pretext and demanding
changes at a pace Sudan was not able to cope with.
2021 was full of protests and unpredictability for Sudan. It is to be recalled Mr.
Jeffrey Feltman, United States special Envoy for the Horn of Africa has
been in the Sudan twice in a month time. Mr. Feltman who is not trusted by many
in the Horn Of Africa had just departed the Sudan, when the military deposed
the Civil government of Prime Minister Hamdok. To make it even worse, the military has now
declared state of Emergency and once again showed that it is not ready to hand
over power to a civilian led government. The hopes of those who sacrificed a lot in
2018 and 2019 and most recently are still on the air.
does this change mean for Ethiopia?
relationship between Ethiopia and Sudan has been very fragile for over a year
now. Ethiopia and Sudan have yet to work on their boarder disputes, especially
that of al-Fashaga. That would undoubtedly take time and patience to resolve.
Ethiopia also wants Sudan to stop offering shelter to TPLF fighters, who fled
to Sudan but have been training in the Sudan and trying to return to Ethiopia to
join the TPLF terrorist group. Ethiopia is keen to see positive cooperation and
a win-win situation on the stalled negotiation of the GERD. Ethiopia is keen to
see a stable and prosperous Sudan that is ready to work with its neighbours
constructively. That is why the Ethiopian
Foreign Ministry Issued a statement following the coup in the Sudan.
the meantime, Ethiopia has to be cautious and follow the situation in the Sudan
very closely, whilst preparing itself for every eventuality. One thing is for
sure, a strong and united Ethiopia is vital for the stability of the region as Ethiopia
is an anchor country. That is what western powers ignore intentionally and
support all those against Ethiopia.
could play vital roles as in the 2019 negotiation between the military and
civil society if the need arises once again.
how Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was hailed for brokering the Sudan deal in 2019.
#Ethiopia supported the people of Sudan as they worked on their transition. It played a significant role. That is why we say a strong & united Ethiopia is vital for the stability of the region as an anchor country.— 𝘽𝙚𝙠𝙚𝙡𝙚 𝙒𝙤𝙮𝙚𝙘𝙝𝙖 🧡 (@BekeleWoyecha) October 25, 2021
See how PM #AbiyAhmed was hailed for brokering the Sudan deal👇🏾 pic.twitter.com/WC0YeelWvi