Are Egypt and Sudan moving toward involvement in the Ethiopia Tigray conflict? Today respected Somali Journalist Bashir Hashi Yussuf tweeted that Egypt has been supplying weapons in flights to Sudan of humanitarian supplies intended for the Tigray to be used against Ethiopia.
I previously wrote about the deteriorating status of Ethiopian Sudanese relations. There is a very productive agricultural area the Sudanese call al-Fashaga and the Ethiopian’s call Mazega. Previously the TPLF leader Meles Zenawi had worked out a joint sharing agreement for its use. When Abiy Ahmed came to power the influence of the Amhara elites who claimed this area as theirs become vocal that it belongs to Amhara.
In March of this year the Ethiopian government had sent arms to a Sudanese insurgent group located along the Blue Nile which angered the Sudanese government in addition to Abiy Ahmed’s placement of soldiers in the disputed al-Fashaga region. Subsequently the Sudanese Ambassador was recalled for awhile but upon his return no agreement could be reached with the Ethiopian government.
The Egyptian government and its allies including Sudan have continued to bitterly complain that filling the Grand Renaissance Damn too fast will hurt the down river countries especially Egypt. Egypt and Sudan have signed a joint defense treaty and recently completed joint military exercises which many observers considered a warning to Ethiopia. As I said before some sources have told me that Egyptian press was publishing accounts that no military action should be taken until the outcome of the Tigray Ethiopian conflict was seen. Many believe a Tigray victory will yield a more understanding negotiation.
Just in the past month Eritrean opposition groups to Esaias Afwerki, leader of Eritrea and ally of Ethiopia in the Tigray conflict met in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, to discuss how they could remove the Eritrean government. Sudan has long standing problems with the Esaias regime regarding his support of the Grand Renaissance Damn and respect of Sudanese sovereignty.
An article written in Foreign Policy magazine in November 2020 predicted then that Sudanese involvement would predict the outcome of the Ethiopia Tigray conflict. Clearly if Egypt and Sudan support Tigray the odds of an Ethiopian defeat become higher.