By Habib Mohammed
Egypt’s occupation to Sudan had lasted for about 100 years. Beginning from the early 19th Century, Egypt had occupied Sudan following the Nile river route up to the southern tip of the country. It also occupied the capital Khartoum. The conquest was led by Mohammed Ali’s third son Ismail Kamil Pasha. Ismail’s force use explosives to blow open a navigable water way to pass though his ships and declared their control of Sudan from (1920-1924).
While many African countries have been cooperating to free themselves from colonial rule, Egypt restored its rule to Sudan as part of a condominium, or joint rule with Britain. Sudan, under the Anglo- Egyptian rule, (1899-1955) suffered a lot because of Egypt’s role of allying with colonial powers. During the Anglo-Egyptian occupation, Egypt had caused all sources of harm to its neighbor Sudan for over half a century. The Sudanese had lost every of their identity, treasures and material and spiritual wealth. They have been abandoned to their sense of nationalism and succumbed on their own land. Even after Sudan got its independence Egypt has never been showed up respect to Sudan with its continued provocative act in its northern border to destabilize the country. In addition, Egypt’s common strategy was setting up different coup attempts, in order to dismantle Sudan’s internal stability and its government by supporting different militant groups within the country.
Egypt was not a good neighbor of Sudan rather an enemy.
The two countries shared border lands starching up1200 Km, and 2.5 million people live in the area. Since the1956 until now, part of the Sudanese territory called “Haliyab”,which is highly rich in mineral resources had remained under Egypt’s control. The region is considered to have 700 tons of magnesium resource. It is also rich in gas and oil resources. Even though, Sudan has never been stopped trying to re-take Haliyab from Egypt using military and diplomacy efforts, the area is still under the control of Egyptian forces.
Ever since, Egypt’s historical influence and control of the region in defying Sudan’s sovereignty, the two countries were seen each other as enemies rather than good neighbors. By the decision of Egyptian government, the two countries boarder had been closed and no trade activities was taken place. Such situation particularly affected the “Nubian” tribes living along the border of the two countries, though they share the same language, religion and race. The Nubians in Egypt also faced marginalization because of their blacks kin color and are not treated equal citizens of Egypt.
Egypt always calculate its development plan at the expense of the Sudan
Egyptian leaders thinks, Sudan must lose something for Egypt to benefit. They need to put Sudan in conflict to pacify their country. Such type of relationship they want to establish with their neighbor Sudan is back routed to former leaders of Egypt. For example, When Egypt built the “Aswan” dam near the Sudan boarder, in1960, they were calculating that the reserve wire of lake “Nasir” to be laying on the Sudan’s territory. With such plan more than two hundred thousands of inhabitants were displaced and made to settle on desert leaving their fertile land.
Egypt’s contributions for the creation of South Sudan was immense
Egypt do not benefit from strong Sudan. Deferent leaders of Egypt has been working to split Sudan in to different countries over time. And such historical legacy of Egyptian governments has evolved up to the current Abdulfetah Al sis’s regime. The secret plan of Egypt in Sudan is changing the country in to different smaller countries. And they execute such plan in two ways. Firstly they use internal approach. They support different militant groups in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile states through supplying military equipment’s, providing military training as well as giving diplomatic protection to such groups. Secondly, it uses external approach. One show case for such approach is Egypt’s ongoing effort of pulling Sudan in to war with neighboring Ethiopia. It is adamant that Egypt considered Ethiopia as its enemy because of its GERD project over the Blue Nile River.
Therefore, Cairo has strong interest to drag the current border dispute between Ethiopia and Sudan in to an escalated tension and it is putting its strategy in to action. However, border dispute between Ethiopia and Sudan has been common for hundred years now. Sometimes, minor exchange of fires between local security forces from both sides were noticeable. But there is no reason to change such dispute in to formal war. So, the question is, why it is needed to be an overriding phenomenon at this particular time? The answer is, because Sudan is currently under the rule of Egypt’s invisible hand. Sudanese transitional military council led by Lt-Gen Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Burhan has promised to maintain the interest of Egypt and support were provided him accordingly mainly from Egypt and also from Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates. As a result, Sudan started to maintain the interest of Egypt through igniting conflict in its border with Ethiopia to keep its promise. But Egypt is using Sudan as a deriving agent to fulfill its interest of solely benefiting from the Nile waters.
Sudan under modern colonial rule by Egypt
By receiving order form Egypt the country deployed 10,000 troops to fight in Yemen. Sudan is also paying role given by Egypt by escalating tensions along its broader with Ethiopia. Inflicting Ethiopia, ceasing its internal political situation as an opportunity is what both Egypt and Sudan is counting for, but the reality on the ground is different. Such salivation of Egypt in not new one, rather temporarily aggravates by analyzing political transition of both Sudan and Ethiopia.
The general picture here is that, Egypt is striving to destabilize the region by putting both Sudan and Ethiopia in conflict to satisfy its own interest on the Nile waters. So, Egypt is exerting action to change the status quo of good neighbors Sudan and Ethiopia to enmity.
What Sudan should really understand at this time?
Ethiopia is a true neighbor of Sudan. The two countries has long standing people to people relation. Ethiopia was agent for Sudan to print its own money. Ethiopia has always been there to pacify Sudan when it was in conflict by involving in various peace keeping operations in Sudan.
Sudan must act as a sovereign independent country able to maintain its own interest not working for third country, cognizant to the consequence which will by large involve itself.
By Habib Mohammed