From Achieve: Note to the statements of Dr. Aturabi about the Eritrean-Sudanese relations and Afwerki of the PFDJ in December 1998

Compiled by Abdulhafiz Yassin

Gulf Information Center

Khartoum (12Nov.)-The way the Eritrean president received Dr. Aturabi against, whom Isaias had always been carrying out an offensive media war since 1994, has astonished observers of the Eritrean-Sudanese relations’ course; in addition, the unpredictable acts of Isaias Afwerki have baffled many observers of the region. It is obvious for every one who has been following the developments of the Eritrean-Sudanese relations’ course that Afwerki of Eritrea had accused Dr. Aturabi of recruiting precisely one million well-trained soldiers who are known in Sudan by the “Popular Defense Forces” to topple the PFDJ as well as of  adopting the universal Islamic fundamentalism, according to the interview which Afwerki held with  a Sudanese’ newspaper called “ Khartoum” and Qatari news paper called “ Al-Sharaq” in the year 1998. Moreover Afwerki said, in his interview, that the EPLF had played great role in establishing the Islamic Salvation Front in Sudan in the years that followed the latter’s advent to power through military coup in 1989.Afwerki boasted that the EPLF had supported the Islamic Salvation Front with weaponry to institute powerfully it self in Sudan. “They were in a desperate need of arm because they were suffering from embargo that was imposed on them due to their support for Iraq in the second Gulf war,” Afwerki underlined in his interview.

On the other hand, Dr. Aturabi, the mastermind of the Islamic Salvation Front, was asked, in December 1998, about the Eritrean-Sudanese relations’ course and Isaias’ changing behaviors in which he emphasized that Isaias had lost the balance of his mentality after his treatment visit to Israel.

Dr.Hassan Aturabi had talked, in a long interview that was published in some Gulf news papers and the Sudanese al-Ray al-aam in December 1998, about hot issues that deal with the Horn of Africa. Dr. Aturabi had borne Isaias Afwerki, in his interview, the responsibility of deteriorating the situation in the Horn of Africa saying that Afwerki had lost the balance of his mentality after the treatment operation that he had run in Israel following the liberation of Eritrea. He had alienated the return of the Eritrean-Sudanese relations to its normal course unless Afwerki of Eritrea changes his antagonistic policies towards the Sudan. Moreover Dr. Aturabi had negated to have a link with any terrorist group explaining that the United States of America categorizes politicians according to its interest as “a terrorist and non-terrorist”. He underlined that he had never taken up the slogan of Islamizing the continent of Africa. “Africa is characterized by a peaceful coexistence of Islam side by side with other religions,” said Dr. Aturabi.

The Gulf Information Center has seen the importance of compiling the most important points of the time interview of Dr. Aturabi, who has been targeted by Isaias Afwerki ever since the severance of the diplomatic relations between the Sudan and Eritrea in 1994; and also to refresh to the information account of the concerned people about the affairs of the two countries with some vital statements from achieve.

The following are some excerpts of the interview that deal with the course of the Sudanese-Eritrean relations:

 Q. what are the reasons for the collapse of the alliance among Eritrea, Ethiopia and Sudan since you were its mastermind?

I would not deny the fact that, what had kept us together was a joint dream that has become true with the collapse of Mengistu… and every one of us had its own particular strategy and especial governance system, as well .. the features of governance for the Ethiopian party were clear.. and also our features of governance were clear. However the philosophy of governance for the Eritrean party was vague as well as in its formation phase. We had strong conviction that the Eritrean party would not go far away from the political principles of the other two countries. The relations among the three countries became strong by the repeated meetings among the leaders of the three countries.. and in this house( indicating to the house where the interview was conducted) there had been several meetings in which we had exchanged with the Eritrean and the Ethiopian parties views on issues of our common concern.. and what we had been thinking to materialize, was achieved.. the barriers were broken due to the frequented meetings among us.. However this alliance was collapsed the time Afwerki surprised us by the severance of his country’s diplomatic relations with the Sudan in the year 1994 with out precaution.. and Afwerrki had taken the responsibility of distorting our image after the Addis Ababa incident of assassinating president Mubark of Egypt.. what had really touched my feelings was the extent of Afwerki’s antagonism and enmity against the Sudan.. and for history, Ethiopia had never offended us and so did we .  the acts of Iasias  had made  a  big crack  in the course of the Eritrean-Sudanese relations; even in the personal level.. Because I had personal relations with the leaders of the two countries, they were visiting me in my house in Khartoum and I was visiting them in their houses in Asmara and Addis Ababa.

 People should remember the good aspects of each other..  and when the leaders of parties had decided to hand over the leaders of the Eritrean and Ethiopian fighters to Mengistu, I was the one who had refused that saying this  is a disgrace on the Sudanese people’s forefront as a whole.. but they accuse me today as a fundamentalist despite my good acquaintance for them.

Q.Dr. Aturab, there are sayings that you have expressed your happiness by the collapse of what you had called “allies ‘of America in the region of the Horn of Africa-Eritrean and Ethiopia?

 I would not conceal the fact that the collapse of the alliance by the eruption of the border war between Eritrea and Ethiopia had got back the balance in the region. Because that alliance had contained many complications.. and it is very difficult to explain these complications in this interview.. and I don’t deny the fact that this alliance had constituted a threat not only to the Sudan but also  to several countries of the region.. and it is not  a secret that Afwerki was speaking on behalf of the alliance concerning the security of the Red Sea, the Sudan, or  Somali in the United States of America; and also about ways of changing the situation in these areas.. And I would not downplay the extent of the danger this alliance was posing to security of the Horn of Africa.

Q.You had good relations with Isaias; why had things suddenly turned up side down in the Eritrean-Sudanese relations?

This question had baffled many people.. and I think Isaias himself  would not able to  answer it because what had connected us were brotherly relationships.. and even our meetings were taking place in our houses to be away from the official atmosphere.. and our relations had enjoyed a personal dimension.. but the acts of Isaias had left  a very deep shake amid the Sudanese.. and he had tried, by his acts, to offend Eritreans; but we know that the Eritrean people is generous, hospitable people. However the readings of Afwerki for the course of things was wrong for he is a haste  leader who severs relations  with people with whom he shares historically rooted relations..  However, I say the Arab should not change their relations with the Eritrean people because of the acts of a haste leader.. and the acts of Isaias had come after his treatment visit to Israel.

 Q. The Sudanese government bears the responsibility of what is happening in Eritrea because it had allied with Afwerki against the Eritrean factions. What is your comment?

If there is a body who bears the responsibility of what is happening in Eritrea, it will be the Eritrean opposition it self because it had been rejecting unification and  joint work  even before liberation; and they are, them selves, who had left the Eritrean field for Isaias.. and we, based on our relations with them, had requested them to come up with a united proposal to determine the future of Eritrea. However, unfortunately we were surprised that the main four factions had refused to sit together.. and this was in the year 1990.. just one prior the liberation of  Eritrea and at the time the Eritrean fighters were controlling 85% of  Eritrea by the leadership of Isaias.. and we demanded, after  liberation, from all Eritrean factions to come up  with ‘a  national charter program” but the only party that had done so was the EPLF..  where as, the other factions had asked us” a written way” to support them in liberating Eritrea from Isaias.. The Eritrean factions were not understanding their historical roles.. and we , as Sudanese, our  wish was independence of Eritrea and that was achieved regardless of who rules Eritrea.. we considered the independence of Eritrea strategically a very important factor for the stability of the region which had never seen stability over the three decades that had preceded the independence of Eritrea; and we considered the Ethiopian government’s principles to recognize the independence of Eritrea through a referendum, a principle that had to be supported and we backed up the choice that had achieved for the Eritrean people peace and stability.. and based on this principle, we asked the Eritrean factions to unite to mediate between them and Afwerki..However , unfortunately all had bypassed us and began  their confidential contacts with Isaias; contacts that had made some to pack their stuff and go to Isaias while others remain in abroad.

Q.But Afwerki had accused you of supporting the Eritrean opposition by recruiting forcefully Eritrean refugees against him?

 This is not true because the Eritrean opposition had been in Sudan, but Afwerki’s denial for the right of his comrades had lead to the growth of the Eritrean opposition; in addition to the policies he followed towards particular groups had intensified resistance against him.. the policies of Isaisa are the responsible for the growth of the Eritrean opposition powers.  Regarding the Eritrean refugees, they have been in Sudan which is considered their second homeland; and we don’t have any objection to their living in Sudan because the expansive Sudan is sufficient to all.. and we welcome all our Ethiopian, Eritrean and Egyptian brother..

Q. you say that there is an American, Israeli, and Eritrean alliance against you. What is your evidence?

The issue of the alliance is not a mere hypothesis but a fact. What is the capacity of Afwerki that enables him to open fire in four directions at the same time: Yemen, the Sudan, Ethiopia and Djibouti if there are no America and Israel behind him.. the capacity of Afwerki, which we know it very well, is not enough even to help him confront the Eritrean opposition let alone to open fire in four directions. In addition, the three decades of war that Eritrea had passed through don’t help Isaias to, under any conditions, appear with power.. all these facts do prove that Afwerki is waging a war of agents in the region.. but the relations of Isaias with Israel is not an obsession for us because there are several Arab countries that have good  cooperation relations with Israel but they don’t use their relations to pose a threat to their neighbors as Afwerki does.

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Posted by on Nov 12 2005 Filed under Interviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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