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The New Arab Staff

Sudanese anti-normalisation protesters burn Israeli flags in Khartoum

Flags were burned at the anti-normalisation protest [Getty]

Date of publication: 18 January, 2021

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Anti-normalisation protesters in Khartoum took to the streets on Saturday to stand against the country's recent normalisation deal with Israel.
Sudanese protesters took to the streets of the capital on Saturday to protest against the country’s controversial move to normalise with Israel.

Protesters burned Israeli flags outside a government building, demanding a reversal of the decision to form ties with the Jewish state.

"The people want to drop normalisation… Down with the government of normalisation… Resign, resign!” protesters chanted, describing the government as collaborators.

Signs seen at the protest, which was organised by the Popular Forces Against Normalisation, referred to the Abraham Accords as a betrayal of Al-Aqsa.

Sudan has been undergoing a rocky transition since the army toppled veteran president Omar al-Bashir in April 2019 following months of mass protests against his rule.

The joint military-civilian administration charged with overseeing the transition has sought to end the country's international pariah status by forging closer ties with the US.

Last month, the US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, on an unprecedented visit to Khartoum, signed an initial agreement giving Sudan access to $1 billion in financing from the World Bank after the northeast African state signed to normalise relations with Israel.

Sudan's acting finance minister Hiba Ahmed and Mnuchin "signed a memorandum of understanding in Khartoum to provide a same-day bridge financing facility to clear Sudan's arrears to the World Bank," her office said.

"This move will enable Sudan to regain access to over $1 billion in annual financing from the World Bank for the first time in 27 years," it said in a statement.

The two countries also ratified the "Abraham Accords" under which the mainly Arab Muslim country agreed to normalise ties with Israel, the US embassy in Khartoum said.

"We congratulate the civilian-led transitional government on its signature today of the Abraham Accords Declaration, which will help further Sudan on its transformative path to stability, security, and economic opportunity," the embassy said on Twitter. 

Read also: Head of Sudan’s largest party slams Trump and Israel deal

"The agreement allows Sudan, Israel and other signers of the Abraham Accords to build mutual trust and increase cooperation in the region."

The signings came after the United States on December 14 formally removed Sudan from its crippling blacklist. 

It opens the way for debt relief and investment in a country going though a tough political transition and struggling under a severe economic crisis exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sudan's delisting was part of an agreement for the mainly Arab country's normalisation of its relations with Israel.

The Trump administration engineered diplomatic pacts between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in August - the first since Jordan recognised Israel in the 1990s and Egypt in the 1970s. Sudan and Morocco shortly followed.

Palestinian leaders have strongly condemned the deal, echoing their rejection of Israel's normalisation accords.

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