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The Soviet Union and Its World Influence Part Vlll

After the Addis Ababa agreement, Numeiri put pressure on the Eritrean revolution to please the Haile Selassie government. But after the downfall of Haile Selassie and Soviet penetration of Ethiopia, he openly supported the Eritrean struggle. Confident of its military strength, the Dergue did not at first, seek the help of the Sudan in the Eritrean revolution. Moreover ,it launched an intensive propaganda campaign aginst the Numeiri regime in its effort at presenting the Eritrean revolution as “foreign instigated”.  However , after the strategic withdrawal and failure of its numerous offensives, the Dergue reversed its policy, improved its relation with the Sudan, prodded the Numeiri regime to put pressure on the Eritrean revolution, and during the sixth offensive, it even used Sudanise territory to attack the EPLF. After the failure of the sixth offensive as Sudan’s internal crisis, in particular the problem in the south intensified, the Dergue started to support the southern opposition forces in an effort at further weaking the Numeiri regime so as to extract more concessions from  it at a latter date. In response, the Numeiri regime eased the restrictions it had placed on the Eritrean revolution. But with Saudi Arabia’s growing influence in the Sudan- and Saudis were interested in strengthening malleable Eritrean groups at the expense of the EPLF the shift in the policy of the Numeiri regime did not benefit but harmed the Eritrean struggle.

In its peace initiatives, too, the stance of the Numeiri regime was inconsistent; at times it fully supported the just right of the Eritrean people, at others it pressured the Eritrean revolution to compromise.
After the fall of the Numeiri regime under blows of a popular democratic uprising and the establishment of a provisional government, the door was opened wide for the Eritrean revolution to engage in political work and establish relation with Sudanese political parties and mass organization. The sympatric stance of most Sudanese political parties and the democratic atmosphere enabled the EPLF to make extensive contacts and explain the position of the Eritrean revolution   on different issues. The result of two years political activity were encouraging, and with the exception of the Sudanese Communist Party and it for obvious reason no Sudanese force has opposed the just struggle of the Eritrean people.

The newly elected Sudanese government has taken several positive measures regarding Eritrea. It has clearly stated that the just struggle of the Eritrean people and the Southern Sudan problem are separate and different issues. It has promised to work for peace and stability in the region, supported a peaceful solution for the Eritrean case and took initiatives to bring it about. But pressing domestic problems including the Dergue destabilization campaign, the constant pressure from the SPLA, the unsolved Southern problem, economic difficulties, foreign interference and pressure are constraints on the attention that the Sudanese government could give to the Eritrean revolution and the role that it can play in the region.

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