Resigned Sudanese FM says Israel supported military coup

Resigned Sudan FM says Israel supported Burhan's military coup
2 min read
23 November, 2021
Sudan's former foreign minister, who resigned on Monday, said Israel supported last month's military coup
Al-Mahdi resigned on Monday with 11 other ministers who refused to collaborate with coup leaders [AFP/Getty]

Sudan's recently resigned foreign minister claimed on Monday that last month's military coup was supported by Israel, alleging that Egypt had also initially supported it before backing down.

Speaking to the US-based Atlantic Council think tank, Maryam Al-Mahdi accused General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan of "trying to justify his coup by currying favour with Israel", by accusing the ministers he dismissed of being opposed to Israel.

Sudan and Israel normalised ties last year, making it one of the four Arab countries to do so in 2020. But efforts to establish full bilateral relations between the two countries have been slow, compared to smoother road toward normalisation between Israel and the UAE, Bahrain, and Morocco.

Al-Mahdi alleged that the government learned of Israel's support for the coup when the US envoy to the Horn of Africa, Jeffrey Feltman, visited Israel to ask it to exercise influence on Burhan.

She said Israel's support for the overthrow of the government was also indicated through the appointment of Abu Al-Qasim Muhammad Bartam to Sudan's Sovereignty Council, who is said to be one of Sudan's most prominent advocates of normalisation with Israel.

On Monday, 12 members in Hamdok's dismissed government, including Al-Mahdi, announced their resignation, refusing to collaborate with the coup leaders. Hamdok was reinstated as prime minister in a deal struck with the military, which also saw the release of more civilian leaders. 

Burhan declared a state of emergency and ousted the government on 25 October, in a move that upended a two-year transition to civilian rule.

It triggered a wave of mass protests with over 40 people killed so far.