Politics, World, Middle East

Former foreign minister accuses Egypt, Israel of supporting Sudan ‘coup’

Mariam al-Mahdi describes political deal between PM Abdalla Hamdok, military as ‘setback’

23.11.2021
Former foreign minister accuses Egypt, Israel of supporting Sudan ‘coup’

KHARTOUM, Sudan

Former Sudanese Foreign Minister Mariam al-Sadiq al-Mahdi has accused Egypt and Israel of supporting what she described as a “military coup” in Sudan.

Speaking at a virtual panel hosted by US think tank, the Atlantic Council, al-Mahdi said most countries have rejected the “coup” in Sudan.

"Even countries that wanted to support the coup, like Egypt for example, was not able to do so. It remained silent," she said.

She added that “Egypt, pushed by the strong US position during the US-Egypt Strategic Dialogue, was forced to condemn the coup."

On Oct.25, the head of Sudan’s ruling military council, Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, declared a state of emergency and dissolved the transitional government, amid accusations between the military and politicians.

Following the military takeover, Egypt issued a statement calling on all Sudanese parties to exercise self-restraint and seek to achieve national consensus.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry also said that Egypt doesn't support any side in Sudan “and does not meddle in the affairs of others”. There was no comment from the Egyptian authorities on al-Mahdi’s accusation.

As for Israel, al-Mahdi said "the Sudanese government knew about Israel’s supporting position to the military coup although it was not at the forefront."

She cited that US special envoy to the Horn of Africa, Jeffrey Feltman, had visited Israel for that purpose.

Officially, Israel didn't comment on the developments in Sudan, but the state-run Public Broadcasting Corporation said an Israeli delegation had met with al-Burhan in Khartoum and that Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, the deputy head of Sudan’s ruling military council, had visited Israel ahead of the military takeover.

Commenting on a recent political deal signed between al-Burhan and Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, al-Mahdi said the deal was a "setback that we can't be accepted".

She added that Hamdok didn't consult with his ministers before signing the agreement.

"Our position as the Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC) coalition is that we oppose the deal and stick to the demands of the people," she said.

Al-Mahdi and 11 other ministers announced their resignation on Monday in protest of the political agreement signed between Hamdok and the military.

The 14-point agreement stipulates that a 2019 political declaration will be the basis for Sudan's democratic transition, and that elections will be held in 2023 as scheduled. It also provides for the prime minister to form a government of technocrats.

While the deal was largely welcomed by the international community, Sudanese political forces have rejected it as an "attempt to legitimize the coup".

Before the military takeover, Sudan was administered by a sovereign council of military and civilian officials which was overseeing the transition period until elections in 2023 as part of a precarious power-sharing pact between the military and the Forces for Freedom and Change coalition.


*Writing by Ahmed Asmar in Ankara

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