5 Reasons Why Egypt And Sudan Might Be About To Go To War

Authored by Middle Easy Eye's Mohammed Amin via The Anti Media,

Cairo and Khartoum have allied themselves with opposing power blocs, building on inherent tension between the neighboring countries...

 

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Turkish media reported on 4 January that Egyptian forces have arrived in Eritrea, which borders eastern Sudan, with backing from the UAE and opposition groups from the region.

That same day, Sudan recalled its ambassador from Cairo, then two days later declared a state of emergency in Kassala state, which neighbours Eritrea, and shut the border without explanation. Eyewitnesses in Kassala have since said that large numbers of troops have passed through, heading towards the border area.

Ahmed Abu Zeid, Egyptian foreign ministry spokesman, said Cairo was “comprehensively assessing the situation with a view to making the appropriate response”.

The increase in tension comes just weeks after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in Khartoum, the first visit by a Turkish leader since the Ottoman Empire withdrew from Sudan in 1885. Sudan and Turkey signed 13 agreements during the December visit, including military accords.

Cairo didn’t officially comment on Erdogan’s visit, but pro-government media have accused it as being a conspiracy against Egyptian national security. Khartoum in turn has denied the Egyptian accusations and says that Cairo has no right to interfere in Sudanese issues.

During the past year Sudan and Egypt, which have a long-standing enmity, have increasingly allied themselves with opposing Middle Eastern power blocs. Egypt has the backing of Saudi Arabia and UAE, the key advocates of a months-long blockade against Qatar. Sudan meanwhile has allied itself with Qatar and Turkey, which has a military base in the Gulf kingdom.

This is not the first time the two countries have fallen out.

Reason 1: Disputed Borders

Aside from Eritrea, two other territorial disputes have strained Sudanese-Egyptian relations during the past half century.

The province of Darfur, in western Sudan, has been riddled by war for the past two decades, with up to 300,000 dead and at least 2.7 million displaced.

In May last year, President Omar al-Bashir said: “The Sudanese army has captured several Egyptian armored vehicles in recent fighting in Darfur.” He has also previously accused Egyptian intelligence services of supporting opposition figures fighting his troops in the conflict zones of Blue Nile and South Kordofan.

 

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Member of the Sudan Liberation Army (Abdul Wahid faction) in North Darfur in May 2012 (UNAMID)

However, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi dismissed the accusations and said Cairo was not playing a role in Darfur. Rebel leaders have also rejected Bashir’s comments.

Then there is the Halaib Triangle to the north of Sudan, run in effect by Egypt for the past two decades and which Cairo says is Egyptian territory. The region, rich in minerals and oil, has been disputed by Egypt and Sudan since the latter became independent in 1956.

Cairo has increased its military presence in the area since 1996, despite Khartoum’s repeated complaints to the UN Security Council and calls that the dispute be solved through arbitration.

In January 2016, Sudan put its forces on standby on the border with Egypt, the first time it has done so in 60 years, saying that Egypt’s military was “provoking” the Sudanese army in the disputed area.

Reason 2: Deals With Turkey

Khartoum has been diplomatically and economically impoverished during the past decade. The country is still subject to international sanctions as a result of the conflict in Darfur, while Bashir is still wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes of genocide. South Sudan took three-quarters of the country’s oil revenue when it became independent in 2011.

Small wonder then that Sudan has sought international alliances where it can. During his visit, Erdogan said that the two countries aimed to boost two-way trade from $500mn a year to $1bn in an initial stage and then to $10bn.

 

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) is embraced by President of Sudan Omar al-Bashir during an official welcoming ceremony at Khartoum international airport on 24 December (AFP)

Turkey, meanwhile, wants to boost its influence in the region, not least near international trade routes that pass through the Suez Canal to the north and the Gulf to the east.

Ankara has been active militarily in neighbouring Somalia since 2009, when it joined the multinational counter-piracy task force off the Somali coast.

In September 2017, Turkey opened its largest overseas military base in the Somali capital, Mogadishu. It reportedly cost $50mn and will train 10,000 Somali troops, according to Turkish and Somali officials.

Ahmet Kavas, a former Turkish ambassador to the republic of Chad and an adviser to the prime minister on African affairs, told Middle East Eye that Turkey’s presence in Africa made more sense than that of any other country.

“If you were to think of any one country that should be present in Africa, that country would be Turkey,” said Kavas. “The anomaly was the 20th century, when we were largely absent from the continent and the western Europeans stepped in.”

 

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Two of the deals signed during the Erdogan drew particular drew sharp attention from Cairo.

The first leases Sudan’s Red Sea island of Suakin to Turkey for 99 years. Over the centuries the island has been a commercial crossroads between Africa, Europe and the Gulf, as well as a gateway heading to the Arabian peninsula for Hajj. Historically, it is home to several ancient sites, dating back to when the Ottoman Empire colonised Sudan in the 18th century.

Turkey has said that parts of the island will be restored by the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency and the ministry of culture and tourism.

But Asma Al-Hussieni, editor in chief of the Egyptian daily state newspaper Al-Ahram Egyptian, said in early January that Khartoum and Turkey have secretly agreed to establish a military base on the island, threatening the shipping lanes of the Red Sea.

The second deal allows Turkey to have an enhanced presence in in Sudan’s territorial waters across police, security, military and defence ministries, ostensibly to protect Sudanese naval ships as well as fight terrorism.

Sudanese security expert and retired general Alabas Alamin said that Turkey’s increased presence in the Red Sea is a “breakthrough for Turkish ambitions, which worries the Arab countries aligned with Saudi Arabia, especially Egypt”.

There have been complaints about the deals from within Sudan. Abdallah Musa is a leading member of the Beja congress party, which represented a former rebel movement in eastern Sudan that signed a peace deal with the government in 2006.

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Reports suggest Khartoum and Turkey have secretly agreed to establish a military base on the island of Suakin (Bertramz wiki commons)

He said the move is “a violation of the Sudanese sovereignty that will put Sudan in a critical situation amid regional conflicts” and that Egypt and Gulf states could be blackmailed if the waters were closed, disrupting oil routes to international markets.

However, the Turkish ambassador to Sudan, Irfan Neziroglu, denied Turkey would become involved in international affairs on Sudanese territories. “Turkey and Sudan have nothing to hide over the Red Sea or Suakin island,” he told MEE. “What we announced openly is what will going to happen in the Red Sea.”

Reason 3: Gulf Alliances

The Gulf crisis which began in summer 2016 saw the Middle East divided between a power bloc opposed to Qatar which included Saudi, Bahrain, UAE and Egypt, and supporters of Doha, which include Turkey and Iran.

Emad Hussien, editor in chief of Sudan’s Alshorooq newspaper, said: “Khartoum is clearly pragmatic and opportunistic as it jumps from one camp to another without any strategic goals other than to break the isolation of the regime.”

Alhaj Warag, a political analyst and editor-in-chief of Turkey’s Hurriyat online, said on Egyptian TV that Turkish ambitions have pushed Khartoum to build its current partnership with Ankara – but that this could put Sudan in a difficult position.

Sudan, Warag observed, had shifted from alliances with Iran to the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen to Turkey and Qatar. “Playing the regional axis to draw some benefits will end up having a serious effect on Sudan.”

Musa warned that Sudan risked becoming the next Yemen. There, three years of war between sides backed by rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran have ripped the country asunder.

“To solve its economic crisis, Khartoum is putting the entire country in the middle of the regional polarisation,” Musa said, “but that will lead to serious consequences.”

Reason 4: Africa’s Biggest Dam

Egypt is deeply worried about the impact on its water supply of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, now being built near the border between Ethiopia and Sudan and set to be the largest on the continent.

Addis Ababa hopes the $5bn project will lift a large segment of its more than 80 million people out of poverty as well as allow it to sell on the energy produced and boost the economy.

 

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Workers build the Grand Renaissance Dam near the Sudanese-Ethiopian border in March 2015 (AFP)

But in Egypt, where around 90 percent of the population live on or near the banks of the Nile, there are fears that there will be less water for irrigating crops. Cairo is also concerned that Sudan, through which the Nile flows, will side with Ethiopia in talks over the dam.

In December, Ethiopian media reported that Egypt wanted to exclude Sudan from the talks and invite the World Bank to arbitrate.

The Egyptian foreign ministry has denied the suggestion, stressing that Sudan is part of the talks that can’t be excluded.

But a Sudanese diplomat asked for anonymous because he is not authorized to the talk to the media told MEE the report was correct, adding: “The Egyptian stance regarding the dam is regrettable. Such moves from Egypt are unacceptable as they will only lead to more complications during the talks over the dam rather than solving the disputes.”

Reason 5: The Muslim Brotherhood

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi came to power after he drove his predecessor, Mohamed Morsi, from office in July 2013. Morsi was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is now banned in Egypt and whose members have been subject to unfair trials and torture, according to human rights groups.

 

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Mohamed Morsi, former Egyptian president and member of the Muslim Brotherhood, is currently in prison (AFP)

In contrast, Sudan’s Bashir rose to power in 1989 amid a military coup backed by the brotherhood and its leader, Hassan Alturabi, whom the current president later ousted when the organisation split in 1999.

Egyptian pro-government media have repeatedly accused Sudan of harbouring Egyptian members of the brotherhood, an accusation which has been denied by the Sudanese authorities.

Under the title of “Al-Bashir and the political suicide” Emad Adib, a columnist for Al-Watan, daily Egyptian newspaper wrote that “Sudan is conspiring with Turkey and Qatar against Egypt”.

Turkey has been supportive of the brotherhood: in February 2017, Erdogan said he did not consider it “an armed group, but is in actual fact an ideological organisation” and that if they had been associated with terrorism then they would have been driven from Turkey.

Hassan Ali, a political science professor at Alazhari University, believes the tension over the brotherhood is a sign of the ideological divide between Khartoum’s Islamist government and the leadership in Egypt, which is increasingly having to deal with attacks in Sinai since the ousting of Morsi.

“These ideological differences are the main cause of tension between the two sides. The remaining issues including Halaib, the Ethiopian dam, and others are pending issues that been used as cards by the two sides to put pressure on each other.”

So Will There Be War?

Yet despite the disagreements over dams and brotherhoods, islands and power blocs, experts believe it is in neither country’s interest to engage in war.

Abdul Moniem Abu Idriss, a Sudanese political analyst, believes that the current tension is unlikely to descend from diplomatic and media spats into open military conflict.

Both countries, he said, are suffering deep economic crises, which will curtail their ability to fight or engage in escalation.

“Since 2011, these two neighbors have been suffering economic deterioration. Sudan has lost has the majority of its oil revenues since the separation of South Sudan in that year.

“Meanwhile Egypt’s tourism, which is a vital sector for the Egyptian economy, has been hit by the continuous terror attacks.”

Egypt also goes to the polls in March – and a wave of nationalist fervour, sparked by relations with Sudan, might strengthen the hand of Sisi with his previous background as defence minister, commander-in-chief of the armed forces and director of military intelligence.

Idriss also believes that each side is “attempting to create an imaginary enemy to draw the attention of the two nations from their realistic and daily life needs that they failed to provide”.

“Even the Egyptian military presence in Sudan, especially in Halaib, is old and dates back to 1996, so I don’t think that there is something new in this regard,” he added.

And despite Turkey’s pledges to back Khartoum in any Egyptian attack on the Red Sea coast, both sides are too fatigued for war.

Alhaj Hamad, director of the Sudanese Centre for Social and Human Development, said: “The two dictatorships in these two countries actually want to draw the attention of the people away from their domestic crises.”

He said that neither side could afford even the pretense of engaging in open war. “I don’t think that they will go further. This current situation is best called the balance of weaknesses.”

Comments

quintus.sertorius Tue, 01/16/2018 - 02:47 Permalink

Another reason for Egypt and Sudan to go to war is the usual suspect: the Zionist state would benefit from such a war, as it would weaken Egypt and give Israel the opportunity to re-invade Sinai with the stalking horse of ISIS (read 'Mossad') in Sinai. Netanyahu: "we must defend ourselves from ISIS aggression in Sinai. Since the Egyptians are unable to prevent the Sinai terrorists from attacking us, we have no choice but to cleanse Sinai of its Muslim extremists."

Manipuflation Tue, 01/16/2018 - 03:25 Permalink

Wait a minute.  The Russians do no like the Turks at all as I found out.  Since the Russians are always to blame for everything we have to wonder about Turkey.  Turkey vs Russia?  That is the fight of the millennium.  The West should not get involved with that one.  That battle is big time old school.  Not our fight.

BarkingCat Manipuflation Tue, 01/16/2018 - 08:51 Permalink

Erdogan kissed Putin's ass and they made up.

It was in neither nation's interest to have a hostile relationship. 

However,  if a war between Turkey and Russia broke out, the west would certainly get involved. 

Firstly,  Turkey is a member of NATO. 

Additionally, Britain would not sit on the sidelines if the Bosphorus Strait were to fall into Russian hands. The sLimeys have stuck in other people's conflicts on many occasions, including between Russia and the Ottoman Empire. They would certainly drag the US with them.

....OK, maybe not. Since they were so hostile towards Trump, he is likely to tell them to go fuck themselves.

In reply to by Manipuflation

Yars Revenge Tue, 01/16/2018 - 03:37 Permalink

Sudan is like that country in Coming To America.

A golden land where abundance is had by all.

Ok, just kidding. It’s another run of the mill African shithole! 

 

Manipuflation Tue, 01/16/2018 - 03:38 Permalink

Russia is watching this.  They are not big fans of muzzies there.  No way that Russians are fans of Turks.  Russians hate muzzies.  It's been that way for hundreds of years.

africoman Tue, 01/16/2018 - 05:35 Permalink

I heard that Sudan has raised concern on Egypt putting her troops on rouge nation Eritrea, on their border security and something fishy goingons,while Ethiopian FM assured they are watching the development.Eritrea is a traitor regime for bucks coming from an enemy of Ethiopia, the Arab nation, SA, UAE and Egipt others too.

Fuck Egypt and Saudi,they have been orchestrating and funding destabilization and separation in Ethiopia for too long,they along with western inlet people buys some sellout and once a strong and one nation of Ethiopia become two, they separated Eritrea from her motherland Ethiopia,it used to be one region,a very strategical Geographical land point taken while deliberately forbidding Ethiopia from getting a sea gate, Assab port a rightfully Ethiopian asset,Ethiopia had control over Red sea and gulf of Eden.They conspired these huge damage on Ethiopia,85-90% of Nile water contributor so that Ethiopia never got out of internal conflicts, wars and develop herself for decades.Why?

They, Egypt and Saudi consider Ethiopia as common enemy,Egypt wants absolute flow of the Nile 100% and wants domination in the region, Saudi also don't want a christian nation Ethiopia to grow,they know if Ethiopia developed and got work her oil deposit,then that means the end of Saudis oil deposit because it will flow to Ethiopia and a lot of reasons.Here brothers of same mother fight each other to broken, no one controlling the red sea and domination thanks to traitors inside and enemy outside.Now, the western nation suck Africans resources with no one  standing against them.

After century centuries Ethiopia built this one damn dam <<<they could have had done tens more>>> but looks set up for the next hot war of the region.Look how rich Sudan similarly got separated and the black Sudanese, true oil owners, systematically left for dead and displacement.The UN is there for peace keeping but obviously arming both sides.Very sad affair.

I wish Sudan and Egypt pick on the war so that each destoy themselves and poor Ethiopia and south Sudan get their turn in getting stronger.Kick the perpetrators in all the regional countries, Al-Bashir behind Darfur genocide, it's well known fact, Egypt has been a western ally and got benefited in sucking Nile 100% alone for a long time with zero contribution, as a result, they have developed 'we alone'  psych and 'we are superior' mindset at the cost of others, forgetting her African brothers.

I say let the African people see what is going on, the Nile is a blessing from God, enough for all to use.

To Hell In A H… Tue, 01/16/2018 - 05:44 Permalink

Calm down ladies and those Americans who haven't travelled further than Mexico. Your geopolitics is limited to a degree if you haven’t been to some of these places. I'm a frequent small business traveller to the African continent. I was in Sudan and the D.R. Congo last year. 

This is all about the West’s play for the Sahel. Again I’ll explain: To confuse the Sahel and the Sahara, is to confuse the Tundra with permafrost. The usual suspect nations are stoking divide and rule and then plunder.

Has anybody on ZH, travelled the Nile by boat/ship? I know it sounds funny, but the further south you travel along the Nile, the more black/negro it becomes. Egypt to Sudan is divided into 3 separate ethnic groups. You have what you would call traditional looking Arabs/Egyptians. Then you have the hybrids, the Sahel looking Africans, those who look like Ethiopians, Somalians, Eritreans, North Sudanese. These people are in essence half Arab-half black. Then you have the sub-Sahara blacks and they are predominantly in South Sudan. This time around instead of how we divided Sudan along Black vs the mixed-race. We are stoking Sudan/Ethiopia vs Egypt along mixed-race vs Arabs.

The Israeli’s control South Sudan. I saw this with my own eyes, including exchanging views and opinions with Europeans based there. Israel has South Sudan under lock and key. Egypt in the north is a vassal state of Washington and thus under the yoke of Tel-Aviv. Anytime Cairo steps out of line regarding Israel, Egypt domestic and military aid is threatened, thus like a dog choker chain a little pull and Egypt is back in line. This leaves Sudan vs converging interests.

For Egypt, this is exclusively about water, water, water, water and you’ve guessed it water. Most retards do not know that the source of the Nile is not Egypt. All the water comes from Ethiopia, it flows through Sudan and THEN into Egypt. Egypt is fucked without its tradition ratio of water, as their agriculture will go to the wall, plus the Ethiopia Dam, this is a cluster fuck. For the USSA, its all about the resources in Northern Sudan, Just like the resources in Northern Mali a few thousand miles to the west under French lock and key, just like the USSA soldiers dying in Chad, google map and you’ll see it as plain as day. You can draw a straight line across. The Sahel is full of rare earth metals and oil. We can’t have niggers exploiting this for themselves. lol

So the USSA is prodding Egypt to act while backing its claim to the minerals in Northern Sudan, despite Sykes-Picot defining the borders over 100 years ago. This will end in war within a decade. Can Egypt win? Not without it being a regional war and what better way for the usual suspects to plunder than have all these countries fighting each other, while we continue to mine and in exchange for more military weapons while prolonging these conflicts, we get more mining concessions because they will be desperate for weapons. Repeat this for the next 20 years and we’ll have more #shithole countries# and guess what, more refugees in the USSA and Europe.  Whose fault will it be for more incompatible refugees in the west? But but but....

And do you know where I’ll be tomorrow? https://www.chathamhouse.org/event/agenda-sudans-inclusive-future  You find out 1000x more at these events especially under Chatham House rules and you get to talk to the players, minus the PR bullshit. The Africa region events are the best. 

BarkingCat africoman Tue, 01/16/2018 - 09:28 Permalink

I simply don't give a shit what is going on there.

I simply want the region's business to be left up to the people of the region. 

However, I know that it is an old tactic used to weaken other nations or even create division within nations. It works very well it continues to be used.

It is the same tactic teenage girls use. Wisper half truths in one ear and opposite half truths in the other. Stoke the fires of jealousy, fear, greed and anger.

I hate those kind of weasily people. 

In reply to by africoman

William Dorritt To Hell In A H… Tue, 01/16/2018 - 07:37 Permalink

China is the one making the play for minerals the world over.

 

A soccer stadium,  a palace for the dictator, and some under age Chinese hookers is all it takes to be given access to rape the victim country.

 

"The Sahel is full of rare earth metals and oil. We can’t have niggers exploiting this for themselves."

 

Turkey, Egypt, Saudi and Iran are all in conflict to see who will lead the jihad to rape and pillage new populations.

In reply to by To Hell In A H…

William Dorritt Tue, 01/16/2018 - 07:30 Permalink

Ethiopia with the water and fertile soil and S. Sudan with the oil are the real targets,

the Islamists are fighting over who will lead the jihad against the Christians.

Islam is built on invasion, rape and theft with a  little animal sex on the side when the destruction of humanity is slow.

Ethiopia should prepare for invasion, the US should be helping them.

To Hell In A H… William Dorritt Tue, 01/16/2018 - 09:28 Permalink

South Sudan is already in our back pocket. We have divided the black South Sudanese along tribal lines, as they are all black/negro. That is the only faultline available to us to exploit.

The problem for South Sudan is that you had 4 major players who could not agree to an even 25% cut between themselves. So they fought amongst themselves for supremacy, while each one was being advised by Israel(you couldn't make this shit up), without realising they were being played. In exchange for accepting Israeli help, it came with mining concessions.

The biggest traitor of all the traitors being Angelina Teny, who I saw speak at Chatham House last year https://www.chathamhouse.org/event/prospects-inclusive-peace-south-sudan  she was the former mining minister who was truly isolated, because they had exiled her husband in South Africa, the equally crooked Riek Machar.

I've been going to Chatham House for the last 21 years and the Africans cannot see that Chatham House is the point man for the psyops exploitation. 8 times out of 10, Chatham house only invites African leaders or mining/oil ministers to speak.(I kid you not.)

I spoke to Teny for about 15 minutes and you saw from her replies she was just interested in herself. She was holding back in some of her replies, but she did reveal she came to England to seek help for her husband. With all the goodies in South Sudan, any help would come at a cost. It appeared to me at least, she was prepared to pay it. At best Angelina Teny is a political fool. Anybody who asks for Britians help and who invites and cavorts with the Jews in South Sudan is point-blank fucking stupid at best. Look at South Sudan now. They fought a civil war, just to fight a tribal war. Divide and rule. The low and average IQ always fall for this trick.

In reply to by William Dorritt

redmudhooch Tue, 01/16/2018 - 10:10 Permalink

72 years since WW2 and we're still fighting the wrong enemy, 16 years since 9/11 and we're still fighting the wrong enemy.

The U.S. Plan To Topple All 7 Countries On Trump’s Refugee Ban List
According to four-star General Wesley Clark, shortly after the attacks of 9/11, the Pentagon adopted a plan to topple the governments of seven countries; Iraq, Libya, Lebanon, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, and Iran.
http://www.mintpressnews.com/the-u-s-plan-to-topple-all-7-countries-on-…
According to four-star General Wesley Clark, shortly after the attacks of 9/11, the Pentagon adopted a plan to topple the governments of seven countries; Iraq, Libya, Lebanon, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, and Iran.

The Notorious Banned FOX 9 11 2001 News Footage Israeli Mossad Links
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVXrvOMPS2o

Sad!

 

Juliette Tue, 01/16/2018 - 11:33 Permalink

I call bullshit. Egypt is infinitely more powerful than Sudan and it has its own arms industry, manufacturing among other vehicles tanks like M1A1 Abrams, M113 and the EIFV, which is a M113 with a Bradley turret. Sudan got nothing but AK-47.