afrol News, 9 June - Exiled Eritrean groups have regrouped in neighbouring Ethiopia and Sudan, allegedly uniting to prepare a "massive attack" on the regime of President Isaias Afwerki. Few however believe they will be successful.
According to the US-sponsored newspaper 'Sudan Tribune', "eight Eritrean political organisations have formed a joint military front that will enable them to launch a massive and well coordinated military attacks as a strategy to depose President Issayas Afeworki's government."
The new joint military front was to replace the unsuccessful and independent attacks, according to a joint statement of the groups forwarded to the Sudanese newspaper.
"This is a good will and successful achievement to the ongoing struggle and creation of the joint front by those organizations with military wings grants the political leadership a road map on to how to topple the Eritrean regime," Kornelious Osman Agar, leader of DMLEK, one of the groups joining the new alliance, told 'Sudan Tribune' from his exile in Mekelle, Ethiopia.
Mr Agar made reference to the estimated 50,000 Eritrean refugees residing in Ethiopia, saying many of these would want to join the new opposition alliance in taking up arms against President Afwerki's regime. One-third of these refugees were reported to be former government soldiers.
The Ethiopian Foreign Ministry today made reference to the reports of 'Sudan Tribune', presenting them as a new development towards creating a popular front of Eritreans against the Asmara government. The Ministry also made reference to the alliance's possible recruitment of Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia, without commenting further.
For Eritrean authorities, the announcement however is nothing new. While Asmara is sponsoring anti-Ethiopian rebels in Ethiopia, Somalia and at home, it has for a long time maintained that Ethiopia is sponsoring the many armed and non-armed Eritrean opposition groups existing.
Eritrea will also have little to fear from a united opposition rebel group with basis in Ethiopia. The Ethiopian-Eritrean border, over which a bloody war was fought in 1998-2000, is heavily controlled and Eritrea is one of the world's most militarised countries.
A possible border crossing of Ethiopia-backed Eritrean rebels however could pose a risk of a resumption of the unresolved 1998-2000 border war at a very high cost for both countries.
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