Ethiopia, Sudan vow to stop Eritrean terrorsim in Horn of Africa
Dec. 31 2009
Ethiopia and Sudan will fight against Eritrea's attempts to arm insurgents to destabilize the two East African nations heading for elections in 2010 around their common borders, a senior Ethiopian security official said on Wednesday.
Ethiopia's top spymaster, Getachew Assefa, the Director-General of the National Intelligence and Security Services, said the border security was of utmost importance for the two countries as they prepare for presidential and parliamentary elections in 2010.
He said the elections in the two countries provided a 'golden opportunity' to the Eritrean government to stage attacks against Ethiopia.
The Ethiopian diplomats and security experts have been holding talks with their Sudanese counterparts in Mekelle town, some 900 kms north of capital Addis Ababa, on matters of mutual interest, covering border security and political stability.
The 12th session of the Ethiopian-Sudanese Development and Boundary Commission resolved to step up border security, warning that the next-door neighbour, Eritrea, was likely to use the border areas to cause political tensions in the two countries.
Sudan and Ethiopia, which have been holding the Joint Commission meeting in the region near Eritrea since 28 December, said the fight against terrorism would top their agenda as the two states head towards elections in 2010.
Sudan's electoral process is underway with Presidential nominations expected to take place on 22 January, while Ethiopia's parliamentary polls are due to be held on 23 May, 2010, in which the party with the majority seats in parliament forms the government.
Eritrea has been put under strict UN Security Council sanctions for allegedly supplying arms to insurgents battling to overthrow the western-backed Somali interim government and for its military aggression against neighbouring Djibouti.
Assefa warned that the Eritrean government was preparing to use the Sudanese territory as a base to arm insurgents and launch terrorist attacks against Eritrea, according to state media reports, which quoted the Ethiopian official, urging joint security operations.
Sudan's Presidential Advisor General Salah Abdella said the two states were working together to scatter any terrorist attempts in the region. Abdella said the two states would work closely in monitoring the border and fighting terrorism. Eritrea has denied the accusations levelled against it by the Ethiopian government, saying the UN sanctions were based on falsified reports.