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News > Sudan

Saudi, UAE Crown Princes Meet with Sudan's Military Council in Effort to Cement Influence

  • Sudanese protesters attend a demonstration along the streets of Khartoum, Sudan May 22, 2019.

    Sudanese protesters attend a demonstration along the streets of Khartoum, Sudan May 22, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 27 May 2019

Sudanese ruling Transitional Military Council met with top officials from UAE, Saudi, and Egypt as protesters warned against the interference of these three countries. 

The head of Sudan's military council met Abu Dhabi's crown prince, Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman last week in what protesters see as an attempt to cement close relations with the council and keep the country under Saudi control. 


Protests in Sudan After Army Wants Islamic Law in Constitution

Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah Burhan's visit to the UAE Sunday came on the heels of a trip to Egypt and a visit by his deputy, General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, to Saudi Arabia.

Analysts say the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt are trying to consolidate their influence in Sudan after longtime former President Omar al-Bashir was toppled and arrested on April 11 following three decades as president.

During Burhan's visit, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan expressed the UAE's backing for Sudan and "stressed the importance of dialogue between the Sudanese people in this sensitive phase," according to WAM.

Protesters calling for a transition to democracy have warned against any intervention by the three regional allies.

Sudan's main protest group, the Sudanese Professionals' Association, said Sunday it had held its first meeting with the Saudi ambassador in Khartoum, calling on him to support a transition to civilian rule.

Official talks between the Transitional Military Council (TMC) that Burhan leads and an alliance of protest and opposition groups have stalled over whether the military or civilians will have ultimate control over transitional bodies.

The UAE and Saudi Arabia between them pledged $3 billion in financial and material support to Sudan in late April.

This recent flood of cash for Sudan's military rulers is reminiscent of Saudi and UAE actions following the coup in Egypt by Abdel-Fattah el Sisi against democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi in 2014.


Sudan: Protesters Continue Sit-In Despite Police Violence

Within hours of Sisi's takeover, the UAE and Saudi Arabia pledged more than US$10 billion for the new coup regime in Egypt in an effort to guarantee the survival of a government to their interests.

The head of Sudan's ruling military council visited neighboring Egypt Saturday. Abdel Fattah Burhan met Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who is himself a former military chief who got the top job after leading the ouster of his country's last leader, Mohamed Mursi.

The meeting was closely watched by Sudan's opposition and protest groups who have warned Egypt not to interfere in their politics, but they did not make an immediate comment.

But Sudan's protests groups, wary of what happened in Egypt, have sought guarantees that civilians will lead the transition process, and have called for two days of strikes next week to press their case.

Sisi and Burhan "agreed on the priority of supporting the free will of the Sudanese people and its choices," Egyptian presidency spokesman Bassam Rady said.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman met the deputy head of Sudan's transitional military council who is visiting Saudi Arabia, Saudi Press Agency said early Friday.

The meeting between Prince Mohammed and General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, who goes by the nickname Hemedti, was held in the city of Jeddah, where they discussed cooperation between the two countries, SPA added.

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