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Acute Food Shortage In The Sahel Region of Eritrea

Reports from Northern Eritrea indicate the residents of the Sahel region are facing an acute shortage of foodstuff and other consumer items.

Since the mid-1960s, the Northern Sahel region has hosted the bulk of the Eritrean liberation forces. Most of the war that raged against the Ethiopian occupation has been fought in that region. The more than three-decades of heavy military presence has resulted in an irreversible degradation of the environment. Most of the regions’ trees were cut by the thousands of Ethiopian and Eritrean armies for cooking fuel, and for building trenches, tunnels and shelters that required so many trunks for roofing.

Throughout the struggle era, the Port-Sudan-Sahel route was vital for the supply of food, arms and ammunition to the Eritrean liberation armies.

On January 2018, after more than a decade of a cozy relationship between the Eritrean and Sudanese presidents, Sudan deployed heavily armed forces and closed its borders with Eritrea. The fallout came as a result of the geopolitical changes in the region which provided Sudan with a wiggle room after years of international sanctions. In addition, the Eritrean regime could not continue to blackmail Al-Bashir’s government, which until then was isolated from the West.

The Eritrea-Sudan border was much abused by the Eritrean ruling party which had a wide network of smugglers and human traffickers in Eastern Sudan. The network had developed a sophisticated operation of smuggling subsidized Sudanese goods to the Eritrean markets.

The closure of the border had a devastating effect on many Eritrean regions which solely depended on supplies from Sudanese markets, or traded with Eastern Sudan.

The Eritrean government failed to diversify its supply lines beforehand, and so far it has failed to provide alternative supply sources for the Eritrean markets. The shortage of supply has aggravated the already struggling Eritrean consumer due to the scarcity of cash money in circulation, and the stringent financial control and limitations imposed by the government.

One of the regions severely hit by the supply crisis is the Sahel region where residents selling their cattle and goats for a cheap price to buy expensive scarce food supplies. Also, the closure of the border denied them access to the Sudanese markets in which they traded traditionally.

Reached by telephone in Port Sudan, an Eritrean who just returned from Eritrea where he had smuggled himself to visit relatives in the Sahel region told Gedab News, “if the problem is not solved soon, there would there will be an influx of people out of the region in search of food.”

The Sahel region is one of the many regions that have been neglected in the government’s development projects. Poor governance, lack of accountability in the highly centralized autocratic government, where power is concentrated in the hands of the president, is believed to have contributed to the lack of economic development in Eritrea. No major economic development project has been executed in the Sahel region.

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  • Selamat Gedab,

    GhebaEka belieni, as I will enter via enumerating numerous lenses I read this rather tragedy news unfolding Nk (NOT an acronym for north Khartum or north korea. Nk is our Eritrea’s monetary unit, i.e. Er’s Nakfa):

    1. In spite of my seemingly innate yet more likely conditioned Eritrean inhibiting thought processes to consider any Ethiopian gains first as effectuating subsequent Eritrean gains, I read the diplomatic stride of sorts vantage scored by Ethiopia.
    A) Sudan’s sovereign act its severance from being a utility for Egypt by self prioritising fit the narrative breaking aged rusting chain link further weakened from utter negligence of raHibb gabill SheAbna.

    B) Not to mention the chess fianccetto counter preventing an either king or queen side castle maneuver, man over, darting at ብቦkhrn saHil abbayy ሞራል ውሃቢት ምስ ተስፋ…
    2) I read thዘ ሻቕልን ዘትሓሳስብን acute shortage of dire basic goods, not by reflecting news trend continuations of January and February ‘2018 marching ab weወርሒ መጋቢት, but the long MARCH Forty Years ago; The Year 1978. My recollection of SaHil was that of a society racing in innovations of farming, industry, education, health care, pharmacy including production of sanitary napkins. Particularly in farming for the essential necessity of feeding self while on the heal of onslaughts, one after another, in the most dire of circumstances. The more reason to advocate and demand for immediate reconciliation of this catastrophic negligence ኢግል ረሒብ ጋቢል ሸዓብና ዲብ ሳሕል ዓባይ። The central Eritrean government is to reinforce the food shortages and other commodities by implementing strategies of trail re-establishing while trail blazing new routs of short term commerce and trade for the immediate avert while definitely eschewing loss grossing and netting long term strategies.

    3. The identification of a soft spot in the strong spot ደጀና by Gedab News is SPOT ON and as spot on as the initial hemorrhaging red dot mark on a tampaX.

    ዒድመ ን ኣህጉራዊ በዓል ደቀንስትዮ፡ ሽሞንተ መጋቢት።

    X weaፖን ኣቡ ዓሸራ Evolution ማኑቨር።

    Giጻጸ ኣዚሎ40ኣብኔያ40ኤከርሳንድ a ሙዩል
    √1600 ኣርብዓ 78-18 ክልተ ስጉምቲ ንቚድሚት– ጻጸ

    • eisaahmed2004

      Eritrea is dying slowly and it has never been seen this kind of brutal regime for its people. Hitlor was saying I am doing good while he slaughtered 6 million jews and the same think is correct about Issayas, Dont worry those who are supporting are beneficiaries from the government and history over and over tells us too Hitlor ddnt do it alone too.

      • Eritrea is an eternal flame in my heart. Never dying quick or slowly.Thank you but no thanks for your comment.

        Weፖን X – ®Evolution Abbu Ashera

        XaXe 40^40√1600 ፓA Ave.

  • Brhan

    Hello Awate,

    I agree with you that the Eritrea-Sudan border was much abused by the Eritrean ruling party which had a wide network of smugglers and human traffickers in Eastern Sudan but the ruling party can’t do this alone without the help of some corrupt Sudanese officials. So as Sudan has closed the border and deployed its army it has also to close its corrupt officials in a jail and its army also has to chase those corrupt Sudanese officials.


    • Kokhob Selam

      Yes Brhan.

      EPLF now PFDJ was killing democratic people (heroes) in Sudan with help of those corrupted military Sudan high ranking men,


      • Natom Habom

        selam kokobe
        tell me what democracy are you talking about ?
        yes maybe no constutition what ever you call it but we have peace
        better than your country ,people are dying there and yet you waisting time
        demonizing eritrea,

        • Kokhob Selam

          Hi Natom Habom,

          “selam Kim hanna
          Yeah they love us so mush that because of the colors of our eyes
          Is different they pillage stole , Eritrean wealth and expel ,the elderly,children ,pregnant,veterans .
          Yes so much love that we will never forget until we return
          That love soon.”

          See, Natom

          I might be crazy..what ever the case,…

          I am following you all,

          “..Selam Thomas
          It’s like watching yourself in the mirror
          And said I like you man ,your pocket is not empty like your brain
          make me laugh trolll Hope didn’t offended you”


    • Mez

      Dear Brhan,

      1) The Sudan had undergone through quite stressful ups and downs as a nation.
      2) Throughout those decades, since it became a nation–for the most part–its policies were primarily serving Egypt than itself.
      3) The split of South Sudan, the prolonged civil strife in its other regions, the population growth, the removal of blanket security guarantee to KSA (by america), split of GCC countries pushing Qatar in to the orbit of Iran-Turky alliance, and some other factors are reshaping how the Sudan is behaving in-and outward.