Ethiopia, Eritrea and Sudan in Turmoil

After three-years of chaos, Sudan is still going through a precarious political situation where the central government has little control over the peripheries outside the Khartoum metropolis.

Armed insurgencies and unrest engulf Kordofan and Darfur regions, only the latter is relatively calm due to the presence of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), a militia group led by General Mohammed Hamdan Dagolo (Hmetti).

Eastern Sudan has been suffering from tribal chasms for too long, and like a volcano, it’s unpredictable when it will erupt uncontrollably. An analyst from the region said, “The centuries old harmony of Eastern Sudan is being tried by local and regional governments and interest groups.”

Clashes between protesters and security forces continuously erupt and leave behind victims and property damages. A few weeks ago, the highways connecting Port Sudan to the rest of the country has been closed by protesters causing a transportation backlog. Hundreds of Sea containers have been stranded at the port for weeks and months.

Intelligence agents from Eritrea, UAE, and other regional countries maintain a heavy presence in the region, pitting one side against the other, either to weaken or to strengthen the military government, while the protesters’ call for the end of the military rule and for the formation of a democratically elected civil government.

Sudanese youth have formed loosely organized groups locally known as “Grifna” (We’re Disgusted). And they intimidate the people, mainly wealthy business owners, to subsidize their activities. In some instances, they order the business owners to pay for the purchase of “one, two, or three guns” arbitrarily. A source said, “they tell the people that a certain person will contact them for the money.” They are warned, “If you do not cooperate, your safety and the security of your properties will be endangered.”

Isaias has met with a tribal chieftain from Eastern Sudan and asked him not to allow the arming of the youth in Eastern Sudan by any side. “It’s a grave security risk to Eritrea and we will not watch silently,” he warned.

General Hmetti is believed to be working to recruit Eastern Sudan youth to expand the influence of RSF that he leads, and which is his leverage in the local and regional politics. So far, he has failed to recruit enough youth from the region. Observers fear that Isaias’s warning and dictating terms in Sudan might cause a clash between the different groups vying to influence Eastern Sudan politics.

Meanwhile, Sudanese military authorities have repeatedly warned of attempts and, “conspiracies to overthrow the transitional government.” So far, several officers have been arrested for planning a coup against the Sudanese transitional military rule.


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