Egyptians are upset by the Ethio-Sudan Joint Force, which Khartoum sees as an opportunity recruit spies on SPLM-N, a leaked minute of Sudanese high-level security meeting indicated.
It is no brainer that the two nations wanted the joint patrol not only to control ordinary criminal activities but also to smoother armed insurgent groups, given the fact that Ethiopia wary of Eritrea-backed insurgents sneaking through the border, while several Sudanese insurgents have tribal affiliation to communities in western Ethiopia.
Addis Ababa’s intentions were very clear as Defense Minister Siraj Fegisa’stold to media: “the two countries have managed to maintain reliable peace by exchanging security information when anti-peace groups activities are witnessed along the common border.”
The Sudanese intentions, however, may be farther than what is palatable to their counterparts in Addis Ababa if the accounts of a leaked minute of a high level security meeting in Khartoum, attended by First Vice President of the Republic, are accurate.
In the leaked minutes of the meeting of Lt. Gen. Imad Adiin Adawi, Sudan’s Chief of Joint Operations, was quoted saying:
“I would like to talk about the achievements scored by the operations staff. We managed to secure the borders with Ethiopia and have already signed an agreement to form a joint force covering the whole boarders between the two countries, exchange of information, prevention of any insurgency that can start from one country against the other, and our contribution or role in the protection of Nahda Dam (Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam).
This agreement is beneficiary to us, because we can use it to cross into the Ethiopian side of the boarder under the pretext of visiting the refugees, which can allow us to recruit Ethiopian soldiers who can collect and supply us with the necessary information about SPLA-N camps in Yabus and other areas to be bombarded by air force.”
[Note: SPLA-N (Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North) is an offshoot of the South Sudanese group SPLM. It is currently engaged in an active insurgency against Khartoum in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan regions of Sudan.Yabus is a town in Blue Nile State in south-eastern Sudan near the borders with Ethiopia and South Sudan. It lies on the Yabus River.]
The meeting recorded in the leaked minutes was held lest than 6 weeks ago, on August on 31, 2014, at the National Defense College in Khartoum in the presence of the First Vice President of Sudan, General Mohammed Atta- Al- Mowla, Sudan’s chief-spy, Hashim Abdalla Mohammed, Chief of Joint General Staff, and Sadiq Aamir, Director General of Military Intelligence. It was published by Eric Reeves, a well-known analyst of Sudanese issues and a Professor at Smith College in United States, on September 29, claiming that he received them from a reliable source in Khartoum.
HornAffairs.com was not able to verify the documents, however, so far, no one have questioned the authenticity of the minutes.
Egyptians saw it as military pact against them
The minutes did also shade lights on Egyptians’ unease with the Ethio-Sudanese joint force.
Lt. Gen. Imad Adiin Adawi told the attendants that:
“[The Ethio-Sdan Joint Force] agreement annoyed the Egyptians who considered it as a military pact signed against them, and it constitutes a threat to their interests in the waters of the Blue Nile. That prompted them to concede when decided to prevent Ali Mahmud Hasaneen (Sudanese Opposition Leader) in order not to hold his party convention in Cairo as a sign of good will.”
Sudanese Minister of Defence, Lt. Gen. Abdal-Rahim Mohammed Hussien, elaborated on that point hinting that it served as a bargain chip with Cairo:
“We did a great job with the Ethiopians in terms of securing the borders. The Egyptians conceded a lot. They prevented the opposition from conducting any activities in Cairo, but this is not enough. They must deport all the movements and close their offices. Up to now we have not treated them equally or retaliated. But I, told their minister of Defense and they know what we can do in collaboration with Qatar and Libya. This is because the Islamists movements took the initiative in Libya.”
The leaked minutes did also provide insights into the on-going tensions between Khartoum and Cairo with regard to the Muslim Brotherhood movement, which was the backbone of the ousted Egyptian President Morsi..
Political Secretary of Sudan’s ruling party, National Congress Party (NCP), Dr. Mustafa Osman Ismail, was quoted as saying:
“I met the Egyptians and found that they are fearing from the presence of the Muslim Brothers in Sudan, but I, assured them, that if they stopped the activities of the armed movements in Cairo, we will control the activities of the Muslim Brothers.”
Similarly, State Minister of Defense, Lt. Gen. Yahya Mohammed Kher, said:
“The Egyptians are to improve their relation with us. The price is that we control and prevent the Muslim Brothers and the radical groups in Libya from attacking Egyptian installations. This position must be generalized to cover Saudi Kingdom, the Emirates and even America, that we did cooperate with them in the war against terrorism, for them to stop supporting the armed movements in the international forums or supply them with logistics.”
The concluding recommendation on the Muslim Brotherhood issue appears to have come from Vice President Bakri Hasan Salih who remarked that:
“Regarding the Egyptian Muslim Brothers, scatter them and do not allow them to stay together in one place. Put them in different places in Khartoum, but again far away from the vital installations.
Place them under close surveillance, because are infiltrated by many governments. Mohammed Atta you have a complete data about them that we collected during my tenure in the management of the [the intellegence agency). Still there are good ones among them. The most important thing is that you have to keep an eye on them in order to provide them with protection in the first place, then to know the details of each and every one of them. Give them programmed SIM Cards with the interception device in order to know more about them. Turkey is the one paying for them.”Source- HornAffairs