BY AL ARABIYA
The Eritrean government released a statement accusing Qatar of sending Sudan three fighter planes to thwart a purported attack from Eritrea, and of secretly funding an Eritrean Islamist opposition office in an isolated area in Sudan.
In the statement, the Eritrean government said that Qatar is funding supporters of the radical Islamist cleric, Mohammed Jumma, who opened an office in an unknown area in Sudan.
“Followers 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. Funding of their activities is provided by the Embassy of Qatar in Khartoum. Training and other logistical functions are managed by the Sudanese Security and Intelligence Service,” the statement read.
They added that Qatar sent three Mig fighter planes to the Sudanese Defense forces which were deployed in Kassala on Eritrea’s border with Sudan. The pilots for the three Mig fighter planes were two Qataris and an Ethiopian.
The Eritrean government said the deployment was done under the pretense of “thwarting an attack from Eritrea that would be unleashed with the support of the United Arab Emirates.”
They also mentioned that a delegation from the Qatari military, led by the ambassador of Qatar in Khartoum, visited the “Joint Sudanese-Ethiopian Defense Unit” in March to inspect its operations and gauge the security situation in the Kassala area while asking “Why does Qatar involve itself in such senseless intricacies?”
The statement by Eritrea’s Ministry of Information also called recent news spread by Qatar news outlets of the deployment of Egyptian troops in Sawa, Eritrea fabricated, adding that this triggered the subsequent closure of the Sudanese border with Eritrea.
Qatar Condemns and Rejects Eritrea’s Statement
A Foreign Ministry source expressed Sunday the State of Qatar’s condemnation and rejection of a press statement made by the Ministry of Information of the Republic of Eritrea, which mentioned the State of Qatar as on of the military threats that the African horn region could face.
The source said that what was mentioned in the statement were completely false claims, especially that it contradicts with the State of Qatar’s foreign policy principles that respect the sovereignty of other countries and promotes peaceful coexistence.
The source added that the State of Qatar was keen on the security and stability of the African horn region. The source also said that the historical bond between the peoples of Qatar and Eritrea were strong.
The source revealed that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs recalled the Eritrean Ambassador in Doha to their headquarters and handed him a strongly-worded protest memo, which included the rejection and condemnation of the State of Qatar to the false information that contradicts principles governing relations between countries.
It also called on the Eritrean government to issue a clarification regarding that statement.