Saudi-Emirati delegation backs Sudan's military junta in Khartoum meeting

Fears of counter-revolution as Saudi-Emirati delegation backs Sudan's military junta in Khartoum meeting
3 min read
17 April, 2019
The head of the Sudanese Transitional Military Council (SLTC) met with members of a high-level Saudi-Emirati delegation on Tuesday, state media reported.
The Saudi-UAE delegation said it was prepared to support Sudan [AFP]
A high-level Saudi-UAE joint delegation met with members of Sudan’s military junta on in Khartoum on Tuesday, state media confirmed, sparking fears of attempts by the autocratic duo to hijack the Sudanese revolution.

The head of the Sudanese Transitional Military Council (SLTC) met with members of the Gulf delegation, in which he praised “the distinguished ties” between Sudan, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

After months of widespread popular protests forced the military to overthrow President Oman al-Bashir - just shy of 30 years in power - the army set up a military council which it says will rule the country for the next two years.

"The UAE reaffirms its support for the steps taken by Sudan's transitional military council to protect people and property, wishing these steps would ensure security and stability for the sisterly country," the UAE's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said on Saturday according to state news agency WAM.

In a similar statement published by state news agency SPA, Saudi Arabia gave its support to the military council: "The Kingdom declares its support for the steps announced by the Council in preserving the lives and property, and stands by the Sudanese people, and hopes that this will achieve security and stability for brotherly Sudan."

Both nations have said they will send aid packages to Sudan in the wake of Bashir's toppling.

Sudanese protesters immediately criticised the move, labelling it as unwanted interference in their country's affairs. Both Saudi Arabia and the UAE are known backers of autocratic regimes in the region, including in neighbouring Egypt where they backed a military coup against a democratically elected president.

Burhan's appointment is rumoured to have pleased both the Saudis and Emiratis.

As former commander of the army's ground forces and inspector general of the army, Burhan oversaw the deployment of Sudanese troops to Yemen as part of the Saudi-led coalition.

Earlier this week, the ruling military announced its first major foreign policy announcement after ousting Bashir last week, vowing to remain fighting alongside Saudi Arabia and the UAE in the military coalition fighting rebels in Yemen.

Sudanese troops participating in a Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen will remain in the war-wracked country until the Arab alliance achieves its goals, a senior Sudanese military official said on Monday.

"We will stick to our commitment with the Arab alliance and our troops will remain until the alliance achieves its goals," Mohammad Hamdan Daglo, the number two in Sudan's new ruling military council told the official SUNA news agency.

Ousted Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir deployed troops to Yemen in 2015 as part of a major foreign policy shift that saw Khartoum break its decades-old ties with Iran and join the Saudi-led coalition.

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