May 28, 2010 (ADDIS ABABA) – Sudanese authorities have handed over Ethiopia, some 46 members of a unidentified rebel group allegedly trained and assigned by Eritrea to undermine the last Sunday election through a series of “terrorist” attack, Addis Abba said.
The Ethiopian National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) said on Thursday in a statement aired by state-TV the opposition members had planned to launch attacks during the election in order to sabotage it.
NISS claimed that the Eritrean-sent “terrorists” were apprehended by Sudanese security forces while attempting to enter to Ethiopia via Sudanese border, few days before Ethiopian polls opened.
Ethiopia repeatedly accused Eritrea of planting bombs in its soil and supporting rebels groups fighting low-level insurgencies against the government; something Eritrea denies. Addis Ababa also in the past complained to Khartoum about rebel infiltration from Eritrea through the Sudanese border. Sudan had pledged to cooperate.
“The terrorists were caught on May 17 by Sudanese security forces while they were conspiring to launch terrorist attacks from Sudanese territories,” said the National Intelligence and Security Service.
“They were trained and assigned by the Eritrean Government to hamper the 4th national elections,” it added.
Ethiopian officials have held the Eritrean government responsible for bomb attacks in two border towns (Adi –Daero and sheraro), few weeks before elections.
Meanwhile an Ethiopian court on Thursday sentenced two men to death and life in jail for last month’s Café bombing at a border town of Adi–Daero .The two men were responsible for planting bombs at the café that killed five people and injured 19 others.
After a 1998-2000 border war that killed 70,000 people, relations between the two countries remain tense and international community has failed to resolve their border dispute. Opposition forces from the two sides are based from the two sides opening the door for continuous instability.