Paper: Sudanese Troops on Alert Over Eritrean-Rebel Build-Up

Published November 28th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Eritrean troops and Sudanese rebels have gathered in large numbers on Eritrea's side of the border with Sudan, prompting Sudan's army to go on high alert, a newspaper reported Tuesday. 

The independent daily, As-Sahafi Ad-Dawli, said the Eritrean army and Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) rebels began a build-up of troops three days ago in Eritrea across from the Sudanese border town of Qulsa in the central part of Kassala state. 

The Eritrean army and Sudanese rebels have also positioned themselves along the border near the Hamadayet region of southern Kassala, it said. 

The newspaper said military trucks were seen transporting water and food supplies to the troops. 

A high military alert has been declared both in Kassala and in Khashm al-Qirba, a region in the neighboring Gedaref state, the daily said, quoting Kassala Governor Ibrahim Mahmud Hamid. 

"Kassala State will be a graveyard for anyone who targets Sudan," Hamid warned. 

The soldiers of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), an umbrella organization for the Sudanese opposition, invaded Kassala's capital city, Kassala, on November 8. The rebels retreated to Eritrea from the city 24 hours later under heavy fire. 

Eritrea and Sudan renewed diplomatic ties this year after severing relations in 1994. Sudan accuses Eritrea of hosting the NDA forces in Eritrea's northern region. The Eritrean government accuses the Sudanese government of supporting Eritrean rebels in Sudan. 

Sudan's civil war between successive Arab governments in Khartoum and the mainly Christian and animist African southerners has raged for 17 years. Northern opposition groups joined the rebel fighters in 1995 -- KHARTOUM (AFP)  

 

 

 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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