On February 2, Sudan’s Omar Al Bashir was in Asmara for a one-day “working visit.” This was, as we reported, the first visit to Eritrea by a foreign head of state since the developments of January 21, when members of Eritrean Defense Forces occupied Eritrea’s Ministry of Information for a day and announced their demand for political reform to include constitutional government. Was this issue raised in their discussion?
According to a two-sentence report in Eritrea’s official government website, shabait, the two “exchanged views on the development of various Sudanese issues and issues of mutual concern.”
According to Sudan Tribune, Al Bashir, among other things, “discussed recent developments in Eritrea following a move by dissident soldiers last month who briefly seized the information ministry in Asmara.”
It appears that Al Bashir, a wily survivor, was, accompanied by his intelligence official, paying Asmara a visit to assess the risk posed to the Eritrean regime following the events of January 21. The two belong to a friendless club and a regime change in either country would be a serious blow to the other. Al Bashir is said to be extremely worried that whoever succeeds Isaias Afwerki will be friendly to the West and hostile to Sudan.
Sudan has a relatively more open free press and whatever the views of the Al Bashir regime are will likely leak to friendly media and editorial writers.
We will keep you updated.