Khartoum to be 'capital' of the joint Arab force?
Sudan is likely to become the centre for the joint Arab defence force, an issue that will be discussed in May.
A Sudanese source told al-Araby al-Jadeed that "Khartoum was selected for the task". However, Ali al-Sadeq, a spokesman for the Sudanese foreign ministry, said no such decision had been taken.
|Sudan is strategically located at the heart of the Arab region.|
Analysts believe Sudan has the necessary logistical and structural potential to host the training and leadership of the Arab force, given its strategic location at the heart of the Arab region.
However, analysts say that implementation will require Khartoum to take serious steps to end its internal political tensions and wars across the country by reaching a comprehensive peace agreement and political settlement, leading to a transitional government with the participation of all political powers, including armed and peaceful opposition.
In addition, analysts point out that the coming phase will witness Arab and international pressure and initiatives to end Sudan's internal crisis and thus guarantee a suitable environment for the joint defence forces.
They also consider the preparatory conference, held in Addis Ababa today and attended by both the government and the revolutionary front (represented by the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North and Darfur movements, as well as the Umma opposition party, led by al-Sadiq al-Mahdi), to be a window to the awaited political settlement.
During the 1970s, Sudan was selected as a centre for the leadership of Arab forces, but this did not bring any political or economic gains to the country.
For years, Sudan has been suffering from an economic crisis, further aggravated by the separation and independence of the south in 2011, which lost Khartoum oil revenues that constituted nearly 70 percent of the general budget's revenues.
Khartoum's approval to host the Arab forces would end the break in relations with Arab countries, especially in the Gulf. Thus, Sudan is expected to attract more investment.
Political analyst Maher Abul Jokh believes Sudan is the most suitable centre for the Arab forces, given its infrastructure and the Khartoum building that hosted the UNAMID force before it moved out following the completion of its mission by the end of the transitional phase and the separation of the South.
Abul Jokh also believes it is unlikely for Sudan to relive what happened in 1973 when it was selected as a centre for Arab forces.
"Things are different now because there are real threats that prompt Arab countries to deal with them," he said.
This is an edited translation from our Arabic edition.