BY TESFA-ALEM TEKLE
Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki announced that his country’s borders are open to Sudanese or nationals of other countries who are fleeing the fierce fighting in neighboring Sudan.
“Eritrea has open borders and will continue to receive, without fanfare, Eritrean and Sudanese civilians, as well as others, affected by the current conflict and share with them whatever it has” President Isaias said.
The Eritrean leader made the remarks at a rare Live televised interview he gave on national Television on Monday night.
He also spoke in Arabic to stress the solidarity of Eritrea with, and convey a message to, the people of the Sudan who had offered sanctuary to Eritreans during the decades-long armed struggle for liberation.
Isaias said the purported controversy that has triggered the current conflict to reverse the transition process must be rectified.
He said, questions and confusion should not be raised about the unity of Sudan’s defense and security institutions.
“There cannot, also, be any controversy or lack of consensus on the need for a unitary Defense and Security organs in the Sudan” he said.
“This is not the time for Sudanese political forces to claim sole ownership of the reform process. This is not the time for political squabbles or power-struggle”
The President stressed the imperative and urgency of bringing to an immediate end to the tragic and deplorable conflict that is raging in Sudan.
He said the regional bloc, Intergovernmental Authority on Development (Igad) must play a lead role in resolving the Sudanese crisis.
“The task of rectifying these costly distortions falls on the Sudanese people. Sudan’s neighbors, individually and through Igad, can facilitate an enabling environment for the people of the Sudan in their efforts to crystallize the new political dispensation that they desire” he said.
He added “other partners who have the goodwill can support and complement Igad’s efforts and shortcomings when necessary.”
Asmara boycotted the regional bloc – where it was an original member – in 2007 citing bias.
But recently, Eritrea has shown interest to return back to Igad particularly after Kenyan President William Ruto and his Eritrean counterpart paid visit to each others country in December and February.
Previously, Igad said that President Ruto has been instrumental in convincing Isaias to return into the bloc.
Eritrea shares a land border with its neighbor Sudan, and thousands of its citizens live in Sudan.
(Source: Nation Africa)