March 24, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - Eritrea has accused Qatar and Sudan of destabilizing the regime of President Isaias Afewerki saying they are supporting an Eritrean group
- FILE - Sudan’s President Omer Hassan al-Bashir (R) receiving Eritrea’s President Isaias Afewerki (L) in Sudan’s capital Khartoum (Xinhua)
The accusation comes three months after similar statements by Sudanese officials who accused Asmara of backing undetermined armed opposition elements trained in a military base near the border by Egyptian trainers.
In a statement released on Friday, the Eritrean information ministry said Qatar since last January has deployed three Mig jet in Kassala with two Qatari and one Ethiopian pilots.
"In early February, the followers (the full list is available) of the radical Islamic Cleric, Mohammed Jumma, opened an office, under extreme secrecy, in a secluded area to organize political and military activities as well as to train their members," said the statement released in English.
Asmara said the Sudanese intelligence and security services are tasked with the operation "including determining specific missions as well as overall administration". Also, it claimed that the Qatari embassy in Khartoum is funding these activities.
Sudan last January deployed thousands of troops in Kassala and closed the border with Eritrea. At the time, Khartoum pointed an accusing finger to Cairo saying it was working to create troubles in Sudan and to attack the Renaissance Dam in Ethiopia.
The isolated government of President Afewerki which is in a state of war against Ethiopia decided in June 2017 to sever its diplomatic relations with Qatar in support of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE and Bahrain in their standoff with Qatar.
The four countries accuse Doha of backing Islamists and Iran, something Qatar strongly denies.
The statement claimed that a military Qatari delegation led by the Qatari ambassador to Khartoum early this March visited the recently established joint “Joint Sudanese-Ethiopian Defence Unit” in Kassala and funded by Doha, according to Asmara.
The Sudanese officials didn’t comment on the Eritrean accusations