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Saudi Memo; Eritreans in Eastern Sudan Victimized

Updated with a copy of the embassy memo

Gedab News received an alleged copy of a memo that the Saudi Ambassador to Khartoum sent to Adil Al-Jubair, the Saudi Minister of state at the foreign ministry. The memo implicates the Eritrean government in the unrest in Eastern Sudan and of financing politicians to “confuse the case” by inciting civil strife in the region.

The memo alleges that Musa Mohammed Musa, a Sudanese opposition politician, is the front man of the Eritrean regime entrusted with creating wedges among the region’s tribes.

A Saudi diplomat who didn’t want to be named told our source, “the memo is fabricated by amateurs trying to create a rift between Saudi Arabia and the UAE.”

The Saudi ambassador’s memo dated March 7, 2020, refers to Eritrean refugees as being tools in the above-mentioned mission. Usually, the Sudanese and Eritrean governments mention the Eritrean refugees as a scarecrow to agitate Sudanese nativist sentiments. And since the end of last year, the UAE is building its presence in the political scene of the region and creating a leverage by expanding its contacts with several players in the region; it’s planning to penetrate the Eritrean opposition organizations. Qatar which had strong relation with both the Sudanese and Eritrean governments has almost disappeared from the scene.

On September 27, Arab News of Saudi Arabia reported that “Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan held a phone call [conversation] on Sunday with his Eritrean counterpart Osman Saleh Mohammed.” The two “reviewed developments and issues of mutual concern.”

Gedab News learned the so-called “Mutual interest’ centered around the memo the Saudi ambassador to Khartoum sent to the Saudi Foreign Ministry.

The Eritrean ruling party periodically trains and sponsors some Eastern Sudan opposition forces for exerting pressure on the Sudanese government. It uses its Sudanese allies as a leverage against the Sudanese central government. It also has an upper hand in the region since its smuggling and intelligence operatives have a large presence in Eastern Sudan. The victims of the clandestine operations and intelligence activities are the Eritrean refugees who belong to tribes that straddle the Sudanese-Eritrean border area.

The Eritrean government, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the UAE are involved in the inter-Sudan conflicts in varying degrees. However, since the beginning of 2020, the UAE is visibly involved in a pilot intelligence operation in Eastern Sudan.

Below is the English translation of the Saudi embassy memo/telegram

Very Confidential

His highness Ustaz Adil Bin Abdella Al Jubair

Minister of state at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

I’m informing your gracious highness that I have found out information from different sources that the Eritrean regime is paying large amounts of money to complicate the political situation [in Eastern Sudan] and pushing for chaos and it has allocated US$10 million dollars for this purpose. Musa Mohammed Ahmed, the leader of the Eastern Front who has close ties with the Eritrean regime is handling the plan. And now [Musa] is working to support the protests and to create discord among the components of Eastern Sudan. He is directly inciting violence and rebellion by stating that specific tribes are now controlling Eastern Sudan though they are refugees from the neighboring state of Eritrea, as per his claim. However, the reality is that he is agitating the conflicts between the tribes and creating chaos with the aim of nullifying the Eastern Sudan Agreement that was signed in Juba on February 21, 2020 between the Government of Sudan and the Revolutionary Front. And that  means an end to the Asmara Agreement of which Musa Mohammed Ahmed and the Eastern Front are signatories and beneficiaries. These events are running in coordination with the Forces of Freedom and Change, Kassala Branch, in addition to the local committees and affiliates of the old system from different departments in the three regions.

The Embassy in Khartoum
Signed and sealed


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  • Yp
  • Ismail AA

    Selam all,
    Respectfully requesting permission from the moderator and participants, I would like to remind forumers about the Third of October, anniversary of the Tragedy of Lambedusa in which hundreds of young Eritreans perished. This is one of the events that will remain as indelible scar in the conscience of Eritreans. The minimum that can be done on this sad day is that individuals to take time and meditate about our collective failure to take this tragedy as cause to unify us and hold the dictatorship and the despot at its helm accountable.

  • Sultan

    Breaking New:
    Source: Addis Tribune/ The Speaker of the House, the Ethiopian Parliament
    “The Speaker of the House of the Ethiopian Peoples Reps declared that there are two Constitutional options on the table about the fate of Tigrai State by making the recent unconstitutional Election VOID and NULL:
    A) To create a Transitional Reg Govt of Tigrai with a Federal Mandate and/or
    B) To send a Federal Security Force to remove those destabilizing groups .
    You can directly go to / Addis Tribune.Com as well.

    • Selam Sultan,
      The news is intriguing. It seems that it is possible to form a transitional regional government of tigray with which the federal government could work by sidelining tplf. That is my understanding. I am not completely sure about it.
      This could take away legitimacy from tplf, and any relationship of the state of tigray with the federal government has to pass through the transitional government. I don’t know if it will occupy seats in parliament representing the state of tigray, in which case tplf as a regional government will be null and void, as long as it doesn’t participate in the coming elections.
      Anyway, the federal government is ready with a response. Most probably, there will be a renegade government in tigray, and a legitimate one in addis. If tplf will go for secession or not will depend on the people of tigray. It will have to choose between tplf and the transitional tigrayan government. The state will face dire situations, economically and security wise, and there is a chance that tigrayans will be standing with the transitional government abandoning tplf. Of course, tplf will not humbly accept the wish of the people of tigray, which may complicate things.
      Force will be the last resort, i think.

  • A.Osman

    A simple google check on the embassy letters shows the above to be fake on checking the spelling of KHaRTOUM without a.

    • Yp

      Selam A.Osman.

      Yeesh. I guess the person who falsified the document could’ve done a better job.

      So does this mean the Saudi diplomat was right in whoever did this wanted to create a wedge b/w them and UAE? Or was the source lying about the diplomat, too?

      I suppose this puts into question what Saleh Osman’s meeting was really about, as well.

  • Abi

    Hello All
    Trump and First Lady tasted positive.
    Be safe.

    • Sultan

      That sounds like the “sweetest taste”ever.
      Well, what do u expect when you belittle and mock about Science?
      He should have learned to be super cautious and a good example after the Leaders of Canada, Brazil and Britain “tasted that sweet taste”!

  • hawkeye

    Selam all.

    The GOE issued a damning press statement in Nov about Qatar and at the bottom they added as a footnote: “*(The specific scheme of inciting ethnic conflict in Port Sudan will be revealed soon with all relevant details)”

    So was that an attempt to divert Saudi Arabia’s attention away from them and toward Qatar? 😂

    • Saleh Johar

      Excellent observation. That’s due diligence. Almost a year later their “soon” has not arrived 🙂

  • Yp

    Selam everyone.

    So is fear of UAE/Saudi’s wrath going to put Isaias in line or will he defy his Gulf masters in order to pursue his interests in Sudan? I wonder how this would affect their relationship if the latter happens.

  • Brhan

    Thank you Gedab for the news

    I have a question all forum participants:
    Why is the Sudan not abundantly disscussed in this forum comparing to Ethiopia? Sudan borders Eritrea, hosts Eritrean refugess since the 60s of the last century and was posetive for the most part towards our struggle for independence?

    • Haile S.

      Selam Brhan,

      My answer is going to awaken and make Abi Happi 🙂

      The answer is because we all had Ethiopian citizenship 29 years ago (even after that till 1998), while few among us had Sudanese citizenship.

      • Brhan

        Merhaba Haile S
        The issue is also about information missing. As you know language can be a barrier.
        Most of the Sudanese website cover news in Arabic. Also there are Eritrean websites that run in Arabic and that cover Sudan , particularly the Eastern part of it. So if we do not know that lanuage , a lot of information is going to be missed. The same goes to those who do not know Tigrinya, they are missing info presented in Tigrinya and even in English, in case they do not know it.
        The great Eritrean poet Dr. Rusom used to say ንበሃሃል;; Which means as Eritreans we have to communicate in all languages as much as we can, so no one is left behind
        Our childern who grew up outside of Eritrea also miss if the info is in Tigrinya or Arabic or both because they only understand English as an example.
        And I believe you agree with me that Gedab is doing great job by covering the news about the Eri-Sudan relations.

      • Abi

        I’m always awake and happy.
        Thanks for keeping me in your mind.

    • Ismail AA

      Ahlen ustaz Brhan,
      A fair question.
      Among many reasons, there are very few or no unsettled issues between Sudan and Eritrea when compared with Ethiopia. If there were issues, they were related to on and off support of various governments of Sudan for the Eritrean liberation fronts. There has never been any hot political or territorial disputes that could have escalated to conflicts. With Ethiopia, as former annexationist power, there have been many succession issues that caused frictions, disputes and a hot border war.

      • Brhan

        Merhabn bUstazuna alKebir Ismail,
        Yes. We have had posetive relationship with the Sudan comapred to Ethiopia.
        But , as you know there is hot polical issues in the Eastern part of the Sudan and, I have seen few discussion in this forum about it.
        So the question was is it from not knowing at all or but knowing but giving no interest or denying. I also wish and I am sure you agree with me to see in this forum particpants from the Sudan, Djibouti and Yemen.

    • sara

      selam ato brhan,
      i was also asking myself the same, but i later realized ..sudan has no issue past and present with eritrea…. therefore its not discussed as we do about the others.
      btw, eastern and the redsea area populace in sudan is eritrean by blood and heritage

      • Brhan

        Alsayda or Ansa Sara,
        Habaybik Ashara,
        Kef Ma indena Gadya….Shunu Alkalam Da? Ba Hazr Malki
        Our refugees, the strive in Eastern Sudan and our up and down relationship. You know last time the border was closed. I am afraid it will close again, unless, the issues are solved.
        Yala Salam

        • Abi

          Only someone who has been in a dark for decades is proud of Eritrean refugees striving in Eastern Sudan.
          An enlightened person who has observed the success and achievements of Eritreans in Ethiopia would shake his head in total disappointment.
          Your 30 years of craziness reduced the the successful Ethiopian citizens to Eritrean refugees.
          A huge downgrade from citizenship to refugees status.

          • Brhan

            Thanks. Your love to Eritrea and Eritrean is appreciated.

          • Abi

            Any time, buddy. Trying my best to bring you to the sunny side of reality. You stayed in the shadows for far too long.

          • Brhan

            I am doing the same thing to you. The only difference is that you keep going in denying the truth.

          • Abi

            I have stated the truth. Obviously, you don’t agree. What is the truth in your opinion? Enlighten me.

          • Brhan


            Firstly note that this thread started when sister Sara replied to me.
            Then you came with your comment but being out of the context.

            Sara was saying Eritrea and Sudan have no issues and I was saying the opposite. I wish you comment was in that context.

            But since Brhan and ABi have touched the issue of Eritrean refugees of the 1960s in this forum before , let me, try to give you, my answer.

            But let it be for the last time. We can discuss on a lot of other issues.

            The Eritrean refugee saga started when Eritreans from the eastern part of Eritrea fled to the Sudan in 1960 and this due to the policy scroched earth implemented by the Ethiopian regime at that time.

            What I tried to explain to Sara is their issue, i.e. the Eritrean refugees issues that started from 1960 and continue to this day , is vital, to Eri-Sudan relations. Why these refugees can’t return to Eritrea, to be fare, has nothing to do with Ethiopia. Some can say Eritrea was at peace and war situation. Then other say but now there is peace. And others say COVID 19. And there is a lot of argument between those who blame UNHCR or the regime in Eritre or, both. This needs i another discussion. It might not interest you.

            What you may interest you is that Ethiopian regime’s role in creating the first mass refugee for Eritrea in 1960s. This is truth my brother!

            I hope you understand my point now.

            Have a blessed weekend

          • Abi

            Have a blessed Friday, a great Saturday and more importantly a sunny Sunday.
            Hope to talk to you before the end of the weekend.
            ናፍቆቱን አልችለውም:)

          • Sultan

            Birhan :
            Add this:
            “ And the Eritrean Refugee situation and migration became the worst ever due to the TPLF!
            Close to 500,000 Eritreans fleeing the nation within 15 yrs and the hard earned Eritrean Independence was made to be at risk”!

            I know u, Desbele and Prof Aman will tell me that the Higdef is the culprit !

          • Brhan

            My discussion with Abi has been his denial to the fact that the Ethiopian regime during 1960s caused the people of Metahit to flee to the Sudan due to the policy of Al- Ard Al-Mahrooqa ፓሊሲ ባርዕ መሬት. That has been the context.
            It is fair to discuss within the context. It is fair

          • Consolation


            Are you sure about 500,000 Eritreans fleeing? I remember seeing an annual report on the number of asylum seekers to the EU by country of origin. I forgot what year it was but it was the year that about 175,000 Ethiopians were deported out of Saudi Arabia. The number for Eritrea was about 36,000 and incredibly, Ethiopia was not mentioned. We now know that Ethiopians were claiming asylum as Eritreans. In fact more than haff of the Lampedusa victims were not Eritreans. We have recently seen thousands of Oromos, Tigrayans, and Amharas demonstrating in Europe. Is there any doubt that if their records were revealed, they would all be Eritreans!

            You may have read a recent story about an Ethiopian named Henok who is the founder of the website. The story goes:

            One night in February 2005, Henok packed his belongings and hopped into a car with 10 other migrants for a three-day ride to Khartoum, Sudan. From there, he’d proceed to Libya and then catch a boat to Italy. He would then continue his journey to London, where he’d ask for asylum.

            Henok, I have no doubt, is registered in London as an Eritrean and is one of the 500,000 Eritreans who left their home.


          • Sultan

            “ Your 30 years of craziness reduced the the successful Ethiopian citizens to Eritrean refugees.
            A huge downgrade from citizenship to refugees status.”!
            All this MESS and craziness was /has been at least partially or mostly,due to Ethiopia though!

          • Abi

            King Sultan
            Are you at least taking partial responsibility for the craziness?
            I see improvement:)

          • Abi

            King Sultan
            ያላወራረድነው ያደረ ሂሳብ ተገኘብን እንዴ?
            እኛ እስከምናውቀው ላገለገላችሁበት ከፍለን : ሥራ ማፈላለጊያ ጉርሻ ብጤ ሸጎጥ አድርገን ነው ያሰናበትናችሁ::

        • sara

          selamat Ustazna Brhan,
          ThaYati Mn A Sudan Al Habiba, LeL A Aza EriTiReen Fil MaHjr.,
          AbeShrkum , SuDan Be KhaiR.
          our refuges are our own problem and that will not make us in a conflict with the state of sudan, as i told you above eastern and red sea area sudans is kind of eritrea. so rest assured apart from state to state political differences from time to time No Problem for eritreans in sudan.