Sudan: January 5, 2004


Sudan again complained to the UN Security Council that Eritrea is funding, arming and training rebels in western Sudan, but didn't articulate exactly what they want the UN to do about the problem. The border has been closed since October 2002, long after Sudan accused Eritrea of backing those rebels at the end of April. The government also had "concrete" evidence of the Islamist opposition Popular Congress Party (PCP) helping the Darfur rebels, while Eritrea later counter-accused Sudan of backing Islamic insurgents in western Eritrea.

The Eritrean government has considerable influence over other Sudanese opposition forces, having offered them offices and military camps inside Eritrea since 1995. But the snowballing peace effort in the Sudan dictated a change in tactics and over the course of 2003, the Eritreans even went to their old ally Egypt in an effort to get a diplomatic bridge brokered with Sudan. However, that didn't pan out and the Eritreans now think they have been edged out deciding the future power structure in the Sudan by Europe, the Arab League and the US. With Eritrea's influence over the Sudanese opposition waning, they began to support the rebellion in Darfur.


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