Ethiopia Supports Machar against President Kiir

Foreign Minister Osman Saleh delivering President Isaias' message to Ugandan President Yoweri K. Museveni on 12 FEB 2014
Foreign Minister Osman Saleh delivering President Isaias’ message to Ugandan President Yoweri K. Museveni on 12 FEB 2014

By Bereket Habteab,

The fighting between soldiers loyal to President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar broke out in mid-December and Uganda sent its troops several days later to fight alongside forces loyal to President Kiir. However, the mystery behind who is sustaining the rebels in the conflict has got a hint of an answer yesterday when Ethiopian Prime Minister called for Uganda to withdraw its forces and threatened “regional proxy wars … with no-end in sight” if they fail to do so. 

East African regional bloc (IGAD) member states Sudan and Eritrea, however, supports Ugandan troops presence in South Sudan. In a joint statement they released from Asmara during President Al-Bashir’s state visit, they publicly thrown their support to the Government of Salva Kiir. Moreover, Eritrea sent yesterday its foreign minister to Uganda to affirm its solidarity.


Other IGAD member states are expected to have similar views since the intervention averts a forceful overthrow of an elected government and an escalation of the violence that would have resulted in the death of tens of thousands of innocent lives.

Rebel groups that took part in the IGAD brokered peace talk at the Ethiopian capital, however, threatened to block next round of peace talk if Uganda resists to withdrew its forces from South Sudan. Surprisingly though, Ethiopia joined the call and in fact increased its rhetoric against Uganda in recent days.

Ethiopian Prime Minister and Chairman of IGAD for the last seven years, however, do not seem happy of Ugandan support to Salva Kiir and some IGAD member states followed suit. Conveniently though, he finds it easy to blame Eritrea as one who support rebel leader Machar to destabilize South Sudan. The accusations were evident when visiting EU delegation met the Prime Minister two weeks ago.

However, yesterday’s pronouncement of “regional proxy wars” by this same Prime Minister shows Ethiopia’s shift from the blocks initial alliance behind President Salva Kiir. If regional countries like Uganda, Sudan, Kenya and Eritrea publicly offered their support to President Kiir’s government, how could there be a regional war, and with whom, unless Ethiopia puts itself on the side of the rebel leader Reik Machar. The million dollar question is why is Ethiopia want to destabilize South Sudan by protecting the rebels led by Riek Machar?

Recent reports from the International Crisis Group (ICG) shows an estimated 10,000 people have been killed in weeks of the conflict with as many as 850,000 displaced in various parts of the country. Had Ugandan troops not intervened in the South Sudanese conflict, tens of thousands of lives would have been lost.

Therefore, Ethiopia should play neutral if it wants to get the trust of the region and most importantly the warring parties. Protecting Riek Machar to prolong and benefit out of South Sudan crisis won’t be in its best interest. Ethiopia cannot benefit itself as it does in Somalia as South Sudan is no Somalia. Ethiopia, Keep your dirty hands off South Sudan.

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  • Hassen

    Dear TefsaNews, ''Sudan supports Ugandan troops presence in South Sudan''… this statement is utterly not true. Sudan and the rest IGAD members, including Ethiopia support the govt of S.Sudan ONLY Politically. Otherwise, an active combatant role of Ugandan army is not in the interest of neutral role being played by IGAD. So get your facts straight! Even PIA has denounced any military solution in the conflict.

    • Dave

      Your PIA never said he supports military a solution, infact Eritreas position is always clear, they dont see outside forces intervening in South Sudan as a solution.
      Eritrea however supports the south sudan government to resolve its problems between each other, and that corruption & thieft is the real issue & problem in South Sudan.
      Unfortunatly the writer of this article, chose to make assumptions & translate what PIA said into what he thinks PIA said.

    • Teddy Sheda

      Ethiopia and IGAD a nutral stand ? since when ? Where did you hear that ?

      If so Neutral why is Riek Machar holed up in Addis >? I will post you the first statement made by S.sudan government regarding IGAD and the UN …Accusing them of training , arming and propping up the opposition to take over .

      • Hassen

        when both protagonists choose a venue in Addis, it is not a nuclear science to understand that the neutralisty issue is settled. In no where has been indicated that Riek is holed up in Addis. Well, except in media like Tesfa or Madote. I would be glad to read your post about S.sudanese govt accusation of arming…

  • tyuu

    Lick head of states rear hoping there would be a break for Eritrea in regional politics. Ethiopia didn't say it is supporting either parties. Ethiopia just said the conflict will get a life line just because there are foreign forces inside south Sudan. Because if there are foreign forces involved in south Sudan the level of trust between the negotiating parties will diminish. Eritrean politicians are ahead of themselves as usual just to benefit from unfortunate situation if there is apolitical miscalculation on Ethiopia behalf in this regional issue.

    • maya

      tyuu
      Ethiopia, is a cancer of the region. the Ethiopians role in horn is to do dirty job. so just shat z hell up.

      • Sol

        It is not Ethiopia the cancer for the region, IT IS WOYANE who claimed Ethiopia the cancer for the whole region including Ethiopian's….

    • isaac

      you need to feed your own people instead of instigating wars. Ethiopian leaders have committed crime against humanity in Somalia, in Ogaden, and against Oromo people. frist and for most Ethiopia have to clean its own mess. now weyane serving their masters because they are hired to do the dirty work for west. soon weyanes' veil will be unveiled these thugs their days are numbered. tyuu it is the weyane leaders low self-esteem have made them to lick their masters feet, Eritrean leadership stand toll on their decisions for your record make independent decision by consedring a logical stand point. we lead the donkeys to right way with a lot confidens, so tyuu I have a question to you who a licked?

  • Ken

    Hasawi !!

  • eri-for-ever

    IGAD is back to life again 4 against 1 poor weyane 2014 is not looking good.

    • Hassen

      Eritrea is not member of IGAD since 2007.

  • Hassen

    I wonder why the guy called Bereket Habteab is pathologically lier

    • Selam Kifle

      For those of us who listen Eritrean language very well do not miss what the Eritrean President has said in his recent interview about South Sudan. He said the Government of Salva Kiir must have got any kind of help available to come out of this crisis. So what does it means for the President saying "any kind of support?" For obvious reason Eritrea won't involve militarily in any neighboring countries conflict be it in Somalia, Sudan or DRC. If it doesn't send its troops to protect Salva, then it is natural to support the country that already booted on the ground to do that same job. Diplomatically speaking, Eritrea supports Ugandan troops presense – take it or leave it.

      • I some how agree with Selam and Yonas

  • Yonas Amiche

    I second to that Selam. Please listen to the President's interview about South Sudan and Machar. He despised Machar as the most opportunist individual.

    He also said @10:00 ….. [external interventions should have a clear mandate to support the Government of South Sudan to solve its current problem and help to bring those who are responsible to the court of law ] …. and for me it means that he has no problem with any force as long as it helps the South Sudanese government ….. my 2 cents

    [youtube t_K9nm4vNK8 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_K9nm4vNK8 youtube]

    • Gaatluak Kher Juach

      Hello Yonas, can you give me a link onto this video. I try to get it but I couldn't. Please hock me with the link

      Thanks

      gatluak Kher Juach

  • Yonas Amiche

    Sudan's president backs Salva Kiir against rebels

    (FT.com) – When Omar al-Bashir, Sudan’s president, paid a rare visit to Juba, South Sudan’s capital, this week and made clear his support for the President Salva Kiir, it made for an unusual alliance and appeared to isolate Mr Machar’s loose coalition of disaffected groups that have split from the army and government.

    Sudan is the latest of several regional powers to line up behind Mr Kiir’s beleaguered government ….
    https://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/0b725854-7873-11e3-831c

  • Yonas Amiche

    IGAD Declares Support for Kiir, accuses Riek Machar of power greed

    “Let it be known the we in IGAD will not accept unconstitutional overthrow of a duly and democratically elected government in South Sudan” – President Uhuru Kenyatta

    The special summit of IGAD heads of state whose meeting ended in Nairobi today declared support for embattled South Sudan President Salva Kiir
    https://www.kenyanews247.com/news/botched-igad-dec

  • Abraham

    Ethiopia is a cancer of the Horn of Africa

  • merhaba

    PAPPY Valentine Day For The Excellency Eritrean persistent Iseyas Afewerky ,FOR WEB ADM,FOR Defense Armies Force ,Eritrean Government For THE Eritrean People,for ERI Tv ADM , The year of wealth and health the year of peace and Prosperity the year of LOVE and JOY .The God of heaven open the get of heaven shawer us all the blessing .AMEN WETRU ZIKRY N SWEATNA>AWET N HAFASH WDKET N FEWESHFSH.Thank you TESFA

  • Goitom

    I have given all qualifications to woyane, I have nothing to say please help! Theyb are dead beasts.

  • Renaud

    Uganda must leave South Sudan. Museveni has prolonged the war in South Sudan by supporting Kiir because of the money given to him. Uganda is a very poor country and do not have enough fund to go and make a war in South Sudan. You need to know that Upper nile state is almost the size of Uganda. Uganda will regret for its involvement in this war. Salva Kiir must step down. He is a failure

  • Gebray

    The Ugandan leader is the dog and aid darling of the West as was the deceased TPLF leader therefore Eritreans should be extremely careful to make business with him!

  • Gatluak Kher Juach

    The point is, if Maseneveni will " keep his dirty hands of in South Sudan" absolutely the killing would stop. The present UPDF in South Sudan keep the matter worst.

    I thanks Sudan, Eriteria, and Ethiopia for removing the wrong element.

  • DelusionalAbysinians

    Not surprising. if any country has been the cause of S. Sudans problems and the thorn in Africas ass, it is Ethiopia, this nation of low IQ people have been mislead by their white masters to believe that they are the most powerful in Africa.Soon however, they will learn that they akin to ashes. when whitie finishes using his ethiopian slaves as a bridge to obtain their interest in East Africa. And like dandelion Ethiopia will disintegrate into the air.