• On the sidelines of the recent Saudi-African summit, Al-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper conducted a lengthy press dialogue with Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki, in which he discussed a number of regional and international axes and issues. In this article, we briefly analyze some of the axes related to Sudan that came up in the dialogue: -
• Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki was known to stay away from the media and make statements except rarely, except after choosing a smart time, occasion, and platform to send his messages, in order to make the “choice” in itself a message, and the examples are many, including what happened in the year 2018 AD, Ian Ziara (Abi Ahmed) arrived in Asmara without invitation, breaking through the fence of estrangement and hostility that had lasted for years, and surprising “Afewerki” with the well-known Comprehensive Peace Initiative.
• At that time, Afwerki did not issue any reaction indicating acceptance or rejection, as he accepted that he had given his opponent - Abiy Ahmed - gain and political credit that he did not deserve, especially since he was aspiring to regional leadership and competing with Afwerki as a crowned brigadier general among African presidents, and that he He refused, as that would diminish his leadership and leadership and make him appear as a warlord.
• “Afewerki” waited for a period of two weeks from the date of the invitation, until the time came for the annual celebration of “the Eritrean Martyrs’ Day who were killed in the war with Ethiopia,” and with all the intelligence and cunning for which he was known, “Afewerki” said in his speech (I accept the invitation of my brother (Abi Ahmed), that... The demands for which these martyrs sacrificed first, and the Eritrean people second, were met.
• And here is “Afewerki,” who has been silent since last July after his last speech at the “Summit of Sudan’s Neighboring Countries in Cairo,” which had the same specifications as “Al-Ikhtiyar” above. He chose to speak on the sidelines of the “Saudi Summit,” and from the capital, Riyadh, on the podium of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper. ) specifically without other platforms, to make the place, timing, and platform in itself a message.
• We can see from the dialogue that Afwerki is steadfast and solid in his positions - agreed or disagreed on - and not being affected by pressure like other heads of state in the region, for example: (his position on all regional entities and lack of pivot), on the basis that it is an imitation of the external Western model to pass the Western agenda. And external
• Therefore, “Afewerki” remained steadfast on the principle of refusing to join the League of Arab States, despite repeated calls from the League from the moment of Eritrea’s independence in 1993 AD until today’s date, while Eritrea’s relationship with the African Union and IGAD was characterized by tension, withdrawals, and repeated ruptures by Eritrea. On many occasions, “Afewerki” describes “The relationship is hostile towards his country, and adopts external goals and interests, specifically “the interests of the United States,” whose relationship with Eritrea has moved from positive, to apathy, and now to deterioration, especially after official Eritrean reports accused “America” of creating a hostile diplomatic environment and international endeavors hostile to the interests. Eritrean in the region.
• As for Afwerki’s talk about the influential and positive Saudi role at the regional and African levels and the feasibility of smart partnership in that, in addition to his praise of the Jeddah platform for Sudan...etc., some may think that it is a kind of rapprochement and political and financial gain, but those who follow Eritrea’s relationship with Saudi Arabia and the level of coordination and cooperation The strategist between them notes otherwise, and the reality of the relationship confirms what “Afewerki” says realistically, especially with regard to keeping the “Emirates” away from Eritrean ports, canceling their lease agreement in favor of Saudi Arabia, coordinating with Saudi Arabia in the Yemen war, the security of the Red Sea, and establishing the Council of the Eight States riparian to it as a Saudi idea. And joint implementation with Eritrea, and the major role played by Afwerki in communications and persuading some of the Sahel countries, blocking the way for the “UAE”, which was competing with Saudi Arabia in the leadership of the Council
• Regarding the Sudanese issue, Afwerki provided a wise reading, accurately diagnosing the Sudanese scene. Afwerki said: “The complexities in the Sudanese scene are the result of external interference and agendas, and without argument, I can say that the previous regime taught the Sudanese how to improve their choices, and that is why the uprising began spontaneously. The people mobilized themselves, and no political force or party has the right to claim adoption of the December 2019 revolution.
• As Afeworki mentioned factors and developments that increased the complexity and crisis of the scene, he defined them by saying (the Sudanese spontaneous revolution and the transitional period were subjected to a process of washing by external agendas with internal assistance, because Sudan is targeted in terms of its geographical, political, cultural, social and economic location).
• Regarding the role of the African Union and the IGAD in the Sudanese crisis, Afwerki spoke from the standpoint of his principled position known for his opposition and disagreement with the African Union, where he said, “As they say, ‘recognition of the truth is a virtue.’ We must acknowledge, in general, that there is no The actual presence of any African system, whether the African Union or IGAD. Then he addressed the African role in Sudan in particular, explaining that (the African role in the Sudan issue is shameful. He asked an objectionable question: Why is what happened to the Sudanese people? All African organizations as well as the United Nations). It failed in Sudan, as a real test of the existence of these entities that have been accustomed to postponing solutions.
• Regarding the role of Sudanese political parties and forces, Afwerki expressed his “regret,” saying: “There are no political forces in Sudan in any sense, and I do not recognize them and they are of no use, because they complicate the political process and bring about external interference.” This is a consistent position and opinion of Afwerki. Five years ago, to the delegation of the Transitional Military Council that visited “Asmara” to clarify the necessities of the change that had taken place in Sudan, “Afewerki” brought the delegation a valuable message and advice to “Al-Burhan”, which is (that the Transitional Military Council should continue in power and administer the country’s government for a transitional period of one year, He warned against involving “parties and civilians” no matter how much pressure and opposition they are exposed to, and they have no choice but to go and prepare for general elections after the year has passed.
• In the same context, “Afewerki” revealed in his speech about proposing an initiative (I have a draft of an initiative regarding Sudan, which differs from the proposals of some politicians, which are linked to some foreign agendas, presented in several African capitals. But I will not disclose it to the media or publication, but rather I will present it To the neighboring countries, this statement carries many goals that Afwerki seeks to achieve, and messages he wants to send. He aims to “prove” that the “solution” in Sudan is purely “Eritrean,” and this is what makes him insist on attempts to repeat the progress on his initiative. Which in the past, was either neglected “deliberately” or rejected “explicitly” by the Sudanese side on many occasions - Afwerki’s initiatives were previously analyzed and we made clear that their rejection was not for reasons related to Eritrea or its president, as much as they were internal political assessments related to the parties to the conflict in Sudan - as well. “Afewerki” aimed to arouse the instinct of reconnaissance, interest, and media prosecution by granting his initiative a kind of privacy and secrecy, at the same time sending his messages in the mail of the current initiators and the intervening capitals in Sudan who bypass him and his country in their endeavors, considering them the first and most deserving of intervention than any other country or head of state.
• The bottom line and its conclusion:
• Afwerki’s statements and answers confirmed that he is the only president in the Arab and African world who is good at reading the Sudanese scene as it is in its abstract reality, and understands its complexities, in light of which we believe he designed his initiative. This reminds us of our previous conclusions about President Afwerki: -
Afwerki believes that Sudan has a preference over him and the Eritrean people since the beginning of the revolution of liberation and struggle until the right to a referendum and independence was achieved, but he is haunted by concerns and suspicions of the past, while Sudan, due to wrong management of the relationship in the past and present, has lost its way to Eritrea.
* Politics and external relations do not recognize constants and impressionistic mentality, and they are in a state of transformation and movement according to the compass of interests. In this context and in light of the current Sudanese conditions, “Afewerki” approached Sudan with verbal and actual steps, in a way that made it necessary for “Sudan and Al-Burhan” to deal, approach, and strengthen the relationship.