Are Brotherhood members forming terror cells in Sudan?

Sudanese security services have arrested members of an Islamic State-affiliated terrorist cell led by an Egyptian national, while Cairo wants to extradite them as part of a broader effort to extradite members of the Muslim Brotherhood who fled to Khartoum in 2013.

Terror trial
KHALED KAMEL/AFP via Getty Image

October 5, 2021

Sudanese security services have recently arrested members of a terrorist cell affiliated with the Islamic State (IS).

In the midst of political and security tension in Sudan, the country’s intelligence services announced Sept. 28 that a raid in neighborhoods south of the capital, Khartoum, targeted a cell affiliated with IS, which has never claimed responsibility for an attack in the country.

An exchange of fire erupted during the operation, killing five members of the Sudanese intelligence service. Meanwhile, 11 terrorists of different foreign nationalities were arrested, while four fled but were later tracked down and arrested.

Sudan was designated a state sponsor of terrorism in 1993 by the United States. Since former Islamist President Omar al-Bashir came to power in 1959, his regime harbored and supported extremist Islamist groups including al-Qaeda, the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) and Lebanese Hezbollah. Sudan hosted al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden between 1992 and 1996.

In 2020, the United States removed Sudan from its list of state sponsors of terrorism following the overthrow of Bashir in April 2019. However, the US State Department had warned in 2018 against IS making its way back to Sudan after the organization lost much of its territories in Syria and Iraq.

In its Country Reports on Terrorism 2018, the US Department of State said that despite the absence of large-scale attacks in Sudan, it appears that IS has an active network of enablers and “extremists” linked to the group in the country.

Osman Mirghani, a Sudanese political analyst and editor-in-chief of the independent daily al-Tayar, doubts that the cell that was recently dismantled in Sudan is affiliated with IS. “The security services may have been hasty by pinning this on IS. It may actually be a terrorist group, but it does not necessarily have to be IS,” he told Al-Monitor.

On Sept. 29, Al-Ressali Movement for Preaching and Combat – Wilayat Sudan claimed responsibility for killing the Sudanese intelligence service members. This jihadi movement had also claimed responsibility for the failed assassination attempt on Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok in March 2020. 

This movement, which denies it is connected to IS, threatened to respond to the recent raid and continue its activities in Sudan amid fears that the country would witness more terrorist operations. The raid came a week after a failed coup attempt in the country, which resulted in more tension between the military and civilian politicians.

Mirghani says there is no connection between the reports of the terrorist cell and the political tension in the country. Sudanese security services, he said, “were keeping tabs on the cell for a long time before cracking down on it, following the public prosecutor’s orders.” The conflict, he said, will continue, “even with the possibility of terrorist operations increasing.”

Sudanese newspapers revealed that the cell leader, nicknamed Abu Mohammed, is an Egyptian who was arrested along with four other Egyptians in the northeastern city of Port Sudan. Mada Masr, an independent Egyptian news website, quoted anonymous security sources as saying that the cell included 10 Egyptians.

The Saudi Al-Arabiya channel reported on Sept. 30 that Cairo and Khartoum have discussed extraditing the Egyptian detainees who belong to the Muslim Brotherhood. Al-Sharq news channel also reported that an Egyptian security delegation headed to the Sudanese capital after the incident to discuss handing over the detainees.

Among the Egyptian detainees is Akram Abdel Badih Ahmed Mahmoud, who was sentenced to death in absentia in Egypt for the attempted bombing of the Suez Canal in 2009. Mahmoud is also a member of a cell accused of the December 2013 bombing of the Dakahlia security directorate, which killed 16 people. The Egyptian government at the time accused the Muslim Brotherhood of being behind the attack and has since listed it as a terrorist organization and banned all its activities.

The detainees also include Aya Hassan Abdel Salam Abu al-Saud, a student who was reportedly arrested and forcibly disappeared in April 2019 from Beni Suef, south of Cairo, but it turned out that she had traveled to Sudan.

Hundreds of Brotherhood members fled to Sudan, Turkey and Qatar after the Egyptian army ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in 2013. Since Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi — known for his fierce hostility to political Islam — took power in 2014, Egyptian authorities have launched a massive crackdown on Brotherhood members, as thousands have been prosecuted on terrorism charges.

The Egyptian government accuses the Brotherhood of having ties with armed Islamic organizations in the country and of inciting and financing terrorist operations.

Ahmed Ban, an independent Egyptian researcher on Islamic groups affairs and a former Brotherhood member, told Al-Monitor that some of those who fled Egypt settled in Sudan, left the organization, and formed separate terrorist groups in cooperation with al-Qaeda or IS. Ban added, “Perhaps the cell in Khartoum came within this context, as different local groups with the same goals and orientations came together and planned to carry out separate terrorist operations.”

On Oct. 1, the Sudanese intelligence services denied that members of the terrorist cell had been handed over to any party, stressing that “criminals are undergoing legal procedures.”

Ban noted that handing over Brotherhood members to Egypt would increase pressure on the group, which “is facing an existential crisis” without its former main power base in Egypt.

Sudan reports crackdown on suspected Islamic-state cells in Khartoum!

BY CALEB WEISS | October 12, 2021 | | @Weissenberg7

Islamic state flag

Over the past two weeks, Sudanese intelligence services have reported three security raids across the capital city of Khartoum against militant cells suspected of belonging to the Islamic State. However, exact details surrounding the raids and the reported presence of the Islamic State inside Sudan remain unclear.  

On Sept. 28, Sudan’s General Intelligence Service (GIS) announced that five of its officers were killed during raids on several hideouts of what it said were suspected Islamic State members in the Gabra area of Khartoum. 

While stating that four suspected militants escaped the dragnet, the GIS also said that it had arrested 11 “foreign terrorists of different nationalities.” The GIS did not provide any other details on the foreign nationalities. 

Sudanese news outlets have reported that the leader of the cell was an Egyptian, while other Egyptians were also included among the foreign nationalities. At least one person was purportedly from Nigeria. 

Egypt, which has agreed to accept four of the Egyptians detained in the raid, has accused the suspects of being affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood. Egyptian officials further stated the four are wanted in the country for their roles in other terrorist attacks in the country. 

It is unclear if the four militants are actually currently affiliated with the Brotherhood, or if they were previously members of the Islamist movement. Egypt has also described militants as being affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, regardless of any true affiliation with the movement, in the past.

Meanwhile, Sudan Tribune, citing a local security expert, later reported that the suspected Islamic State cell was reportedly planning attacks inside Khartoum on New Year’s Day. This information cannot be independently verified by FDD’s Long War Journal

Then on Oct. 3, the GIS reported that it had arrested what it claims were an additional “eight foreign elements” related to the suspected Islamic State cell in Khartoum’s neighboring Omdurman city. 

A day later, Sudanese intelligence reported another raid on an Islamic State cell in Khartoum’s Gabra area. The GIS further stated its forces killed four suspected militants and arrested two additional individuals. 

The Islamic State has not publicly commented on the raids on its purported members as of the time of publishing. However, a supposed statement from a little known group in Sudan, Al Tayyar al Risali li-Da’wa wal-Qital – Wilayat Sudan, or The Messenger’s Movement for Preaching and Combat – Sudan Province, claimed its men were targeted in the Sept. 28 raid. 

In a statement floating around Sudanese social media, the group said that 11 of its members were arrested by the GIS. Additionally, it denied any relation to the Islamic State, saying that this link was made as a “cover for cheap media camouflage.” 

Little is known about the supposed Sudanese militant group. France 24 reported that it allegedly took responsibility for a failed March 2020 assassination attempt on Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok. 

Additionally, its purported logo is a carbon copy of that of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which is a common trope for Shia armed groups across the Islamic world and which typically signifies some IRGC-affiliation. 

It is unknown if this is indeed the case for the alleged armed group. Iran and the Sudanese government had security and intelligence agreements in the past, though this is unlikely to still be the case – especially as Sudan’s new government has agreed to normalize its relations with Israel. 

The purported existence of an ostensibly Iranian-aligned militant group in Sudan could be linked to the diplomatic agreement with the Jewish state.  

The security raids further come as Sudan remains in a transitional period. In April 2019, Sudan’s longtime dictator, Omar al-Bashir, was overthrown. Since then, Sudan has been ruled by a transitional government, though severe institutional problems remain

And in late Sept. 2021, Sudanese officials said that state forces thwarted a coup attempt launched by loyalists of Omar al-Bashir. It is unclear how related, if at all, the recent security raids against alleged Islamic State cells are to the country’s post-coup crackdown. 

Previous jihadist militancy in Sudan

Jihadist militancy inside Sudan has been a relatively rare occurance inside the country despite it previously being listed as a state sponsor of terrorism for almost 30 years. 

In Jan. 2008, US diplomat John Michael Granville and his Sudanese driver were murdered by gunmen belonging to Al Qaeda in the Land of the Two Niles (AQTN) and its affiliate Ansar al Tawhid. According to US intelligence personnel who spoke to FDD’s Long War Journal in 2013, the “two groups operate[d] in close coordination and often pool[ed] resources and personnel.”

Two years later in June 2010, four men arrested for their involvement in the murders escaped from Sudan’s maximum security Kober prison. The prison break, which involved tunnelling underneath the militants’ cells, was later featured in a jihadist propaganda video released by the al Qaeda-affiliated Al Hijratain Foundation. 

In Dec. 2012, Sudanese security forces raided a large al Qaeda-linked training camp in the Al-Dinndir Wildlife Park in eastern Sudan, arresting 25 suspected jihadists. At the time, Sudan said the militants were being trained in the camp in order to join al Qaeda’s forces in Mali and Somalia. 

It is unknown if either AQTN or Ansar al Tawhid are still operating. In Jan. 2013, AQTN purportedly established a student wing in Khartoum, however, it is also unclear if it remains active. One of the main leaders of AQTN, Abu Hazim al Sudani, was also killed fighting alongside al Qaeda in Mali a month later in Feb. 2013. Neither group has claimed any activity in years. 

Then in 2016, the Sudanese government said that least 137 of its citizens have joined jihadist groups abroad, primarily the Islamic State. As many Islamic State members return to their countries of origin, especially from the group’s Syrian and Iraqi branches, it is possible that Sudanese returnees could be operating inside Sudan and plotting attacks. 

Additionally in 2016, Moez Fezzani, a key leader in the Islamic State’s Tunisian networks who also recruited for the group in Italy, was arrested in Sudan after fleeing from Libya. And in 2019, Sudan said it arrested six members of Nigeria’s Boko Haram in the Darfur region near the country’s border with Chad. 

Though it is unclear if the individuals belonged to the Islamic State’s West African Province (ISWAP), which grew out of Boko Haram, or the ISWAP splinter group then led by Boko Haram’s previous emir Abubakar Shekau. The moniker ‘Boko Haram’ was largely used as a catch-all term by Nigerian and international media for both entities. 

Despite Sudanese intelligence officials saying that several active Islamic State cells inside Khartoum have been subdued in the past two weeks, the details and overall situation surrounding the raids remain murky. 

But it would not be out of the realm of possibility for Sudan if Islamic State cells were indeed confirmed to be operating inside its territory.

{Caleb Weiss is a contributor to FDD’s Long War Journal.}

Malaysia ‘extremely concerned’ over issue on Petronas Complex in Sudan.

Esther Lee  31 mins ago

KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 13) 2021

See the source image
(Google images)
See the source image
Petronas Headquarters in Khartoum.

 The Government of Malaysia is extremely concerned over the issue on the Petronas Complex in Khartoum, Sudan following news reports that the Sudan transitional government is seeking to confiscate assets belonging to Petronas, alleging they were acquired through illegal means during the rule of ousted leader Omar al-Bashir.

Malaysia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday (Oct 13) that since the Petronas Complex issue surfaced in December 2020, the ministry has been working closely with Petronas, including through Malaysia’s embassy in Khartoum to resolve the matter. 

“To date, the ministry has exerted multiple diplomatic efforts to address the issue, including summoning the Sudanese Charge d’ Affaires (for the second time) to Wisma Putra this morning to convey our concern. We will continue to closely monitor developments on the issue in safeguarding Malaysian interests in Sudan. 

“The ministry urges the Sudanese government to honour the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Treaty in force between Malaysia and Sudan. Additionally, as the complex also houses the Malaysian Embassy, the Sudanese side is also urged to observe the sanctity of diplomatic premises, as provided for under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations 1961. 

“Despite the commencement of arbitration proceedings initiated by Petronas, the ministry remains hopeful for timely and amicable resolution of the issue, with the view of preserving the longstanding brotherly relations between Malaysia and Sudan. The ministry also wishes to advise that all Malaysians residing and registered with our embassy are safe,” the Foreign Affairs Ministry said.

S. Sudan’s ruling party member petitions Kiir, urges aide’s removal!

October 12, 2021 (JUBA)

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President Salva Kiir adresses a joint press conference on 9 July 2016 (Reuters Photo)

A member of South’s Sudan ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) has petitioned President Salva Kiir, calling for the immediate removal of a presidential aide.

A member of South’s Sudan ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) has petitioned President Salva Kiir, calling for the immediate removal of a presidential aide.

“Dear Comrade it’s my privilege to write to your highest office as my Chairman and President of South Sudan concerning the relieve of Hon James Deng Wal from the most sensitive position of our Country simply that Hon James isn’t doing the interest of Party SPLM nor respecting the Mission and Vision of SPLM, the core Values, strategies objectives and Our Manifestos of SPLM in your office”, Meen Gabriel Chol Kuac wrote in a petition to Kiir, also the ruling party’s chairman.

Kuac claimed Wal, recently promoted by Kiir to a Major General in the army without a military background, was pursuing personal ambition at the expense of national interests and party objectives.

“Please dear comrade, as cadre of SPLM, we need somebody in that position which Deng Wal is misused for his self- interest (other) than National interest and interest of Party SPLM to replace Deng Wal. He already gets enough resources if that’s the case”, he wrote.

Kuac said the SPLM party “is full of capable youth and different ages groups to fulfill that position and deliver the services to our people without discrimination, gender, tribalism and so forth than Hon James Deng Wal who divide the Youth of South Sudan for his own interest.

He continued: “In addition, please comrade Salva Kiir Mayardit relieve Deng Wal immediately when you come back from Egypt for the implementation of our manifestos of the SPLM.”

Meanwhile Deng has dismissed the allegations labeled against him, with supporters questioning the motive behind calls for removal.

However, while some advocated reconciliation, others claimed Kuac was used by president Kiir’s son, Thiik who is the deputy of executive director and has shown interest in replacing the occupant.


What It Means To Be A Displaced Person

10 October, 2021

What It Means To Be  A Displaced Person


KHARTOUM (Sudanow) – Adam’s heartbeats rose and he felt short of breath, out of fear. He was fast asleep when that strange terrifying voice made him wake up.

He could not move his finger or open his eyes to discern the source of that voice in the dark that engulfed everything around him. But after an age-long pause, he could realize that the voice was coming from outside the shed he and his three siblings and their grandma were sleeping in.

With great difficulty, he stretched his hand to feel around him. He found that all his family members were around him, save his grandma. His fear then increased when he began to think that the source of the voice might have taken his granny away. Is it the ghul (superstitious creature) he had heard the people speak of?

But at last, he gathered some courage and rolled his body on the dust floor he was sleeping on, reaching the shed opening despite the thick darkness of that cold winter night. Outside the shed he found something perching on the ground. He quickly closed his eyes and could not move. At last, he could discern that the thing so heaped on the ground was his granny. She was sitting on the ground praying, trying to muzzle her crying so as not to awaken an infant who cried too much out of hunger until he fell asleep that night. The food they had was finished and none of it was left. She was complaining and praying: What would I do and how can I bring these youngsters up? From where can I feed them? I have no profession and do not know the language of this place.

He sat on the ground, watching his granny. He could not feel the bitter cold nor the sound of the heavy wind outside. Instead, he continued to think about what his grandma was saying and what he would do. Neither he nor his grandmother would move from that place until it was dawn.    

They came to this town in the company of their uncle and his mother, fleeing the agony of war in Darfur. Their trip to this place was not that easy. Their uncle lodged them in this shed he built in a hurry from cardboard and jute sacks on the outskirts of the Capital, as do many of the war escapees.

His uncle stayed with them for over a fortnight, took their mother to work in a restaurant, and left to join the other fighters.

Their mother used to get out at dawn and return at dusk, bringing with her everything: food, kindness, and care.

They used to wait for her return on the roadway. But before she would return, that good-looking shoeshiner boy would precede her back home, carrying his carefully ornamented box in which he kept the tools of his trade. On the sides of the box, he had fixed juice bottle caps on which he used to play his fingers, making sounds his siblings loved too much. With him, he carried gifts of dates, groundnuts, and grilled melon seeds. As an additional gift, he would let the kids play for some time with his box and then get in.

But that day their mother would not return. They waited for her until dark but she would not come. They then returned to the shed and waited for their mother in fear. But they had to wait for too long.

The next day evening two men came over carrying bags stuffed with food. They sat with the old woman, telling her that her daughter was killed in a car crash and they had buried her.

That was the story narrated to me by Adam, the young shoeshiner near the University of Khartoum. I had kept watching him, sitting on a bench, while waiting for one of my friends. He was working in a surprising hurry.

“Why the hurry?” I asked him.

“It is this hurry that attracts customers to him,” one of the customers intervened to reply.

Then I continued to repeat my question. He said he works at that place just until noon prayer time for fear his granny would feel worried about him. The old woman was keen he should be back home before evening.

Then I asked him when did he work in that trade. He told me that he took this trade full time after that long night when his mother did not return home. He said that night he decided to take over all the duty of feeding his family. After sunrise, the shoeshiner came to their place. He did not talk much with him, but clung to his hand and left with him. He said he had kept working for four years to feed his family.

I could not find words to say anything. I started to remember all the hard-working kids I have seen, kids who look fatigued by the labor of carrying heavy weights beyond their power.

They paid the bill of war. The suffering lived by this family is certainly repeated in many more places. Most of the dwellers of the margins of cities have deserted their home areas, running away from war.

After two decades of unrest in Darfur, about 1.6 persons could not return to their home areas because many of those places are still unsafe. Intercommunal violence and militias attacks against civilians continue to recur one time after the other.

This year a report from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Sudan said the number of displaced persons in West, North, and South Darfur has reached 183,000 due to tribal violence that also left tens dead or hurt.

The old and new displaced citizens have lost all their farming lands and livestock. They have also left behind the belongings they collected throughout their lives.

The critical situation they live in is full of difficulties. According to a study conducted in this respect by researcher Fatima Abdelmajeed, the places that house the displaced on the outskirts of cities lack the resources for decent living and are also insecure due to weak government authority, rendering the entire environment lawless. What aggravates this lawlessness is also that some tribes have taken their conflicts with them to their new places. This leads to clashes and, accordingly, insecurity in these areas. The spread of unlicensed firearms and other weapons are also part of the causes of insecurity.

In Khartoum, the wide economic and social gap between the rich and poor quarters is very clear. Whereas we find modern houses and deluxe limousines in some places, we find shacks made of tin and jute sacks in the others’ houses that do not protect from the heat of summer nor the cold of winter. In the latter hunger and the other miseries of life encourage violence of sorts. Part of that violence is associated with looting and stealing or what is known as crimes of need. 

These marginal areas also lack social services whereby the hospitals are scarce. There is no electricity or running water. Citizens have to carry water by carts for long distances. Public transport and schools are also inadequate. The study has cited low literacy and a high rate of school dropouts. That is because the children had turned their backs on education and went to work to help their families. Among them, there are also those who deserted their families and went wayward. This is a situation undeniable. This suffering is common among all the displaced.

Anthropology Doctor Tamir Mohammad Ahmed, a professor at the University of Khartoum, is of the view that the displaced who fled their home areas and settled down around Khartoum and other cities are the most worthy of collecting the benefit of peace and its dues. They have continued to live under harsh conditions, without any hope in decent living. Now they are in need of returning to their home areas. What had displaced them was the insecurity and the first thing that encourages them to go back is sustainable peace.

Dr. Tamir also said fear from a repeat of war looks an understandable factor, especially when we understand that the historical accumulation of previous peace agreements has rendered the citizens’ outlook towards peace a negative one.

He stressed the importance of implementing the security arrangements of the Juba Peace Agreement by merging the rebel movements in the national army.

This will help build the citizens’ confidence in the national army when the army is converted from an enemy fighting them to a force that protects them. But this mood requires time to take roots. And for this reason, there is a need to speed up the implementation of the security arrangements.

Dr. Tamir however considers the repatriation of the displaced requires funding and full preparation. Economic terms for this section in the Juba peace deal should be implemented with respect to land ownership. Indemnities should be made and the damage caused by the war should be repaired. Suitable locations should be designed for the resettlement of the displaced. The budget previously allocated for war should be diverted towards reconstruction, development, services, and the creation of job opportunities.

About the hurdles that face the implementation of the peace agreement, Dr.Tamir said it is sad that there is a tribal tendency to get jobs. Instead of creating social concord, ethnic feelings are being fanned by the enemies of peace and the remnants of the ousted regime. This is a threat to peace. The delay in effecting the security arrangements has created a lot of militarization in Darfur. 

Dr. Amir Abdalla, a researcher in sociology at the Alnelain University, has reaffirmed the need to return the displaced to their original villages. Women and children were the most to suffer from the war and what happens to them is a crime. For that there is a need for serious action from all parties and from the entire society to reintegrate and reunite families, he said.

He said political willpower should exist for the close follow-up of the repatriation of the displaced. This is the responsibility of all the government bodies and also the social grassroots through campaigns to disseminate the culture of peace and stop hostile media campaigns for stability and for development to prevail.   

That grandmother and despite her suffering is hopeful that her grandson would take them back home. She craves for the shady trees she had planted in her village. She craves the good company of her relatives and friends like in the good old days when they owned everything, farms, and livestock and never needed to buy anything except salt. Even the sugar they did not need to buy. The honey from their beehives had used to do that job.


Link to web article.

Sudan issues arrest warrant for Petronas country manager.


 ANKARA ENERGY OCT 11, 2021 10:46 AM GMT+3

Low angle view of the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (Getty Images)
A low angle view of the Petronas twin towers in Kuala Lumpur , Malaysia (Getty Images)

Sudan’s transitional government has issued an arrest warrant against the country manager of Malaysia’s national oil company Petronas, according to sources.

The move comes following growing tensions between Malaysia and Sudan after the latter moved to seize Petronas’ assets.

Sources said the actions against Petronas, as well as other foreign investors citing allegations of corruption, could negatively affect future bilateral relations.

“Many other countries that have made a lot of investments in Sudan are also monitoring the situation closely. They are worried that they may be the next target of the transitional government,” they said.

Sources have said that other countries’ companies were being similarly targeted. Fu Hong Construction, a Chinese infrastructure firm, was alleged to have inflated the cost of projects. Similar actions were taken against the Pakistani-owned Grand Holiday Villa Ltd. in Khartoum.

As Sudan continues to hold up its allegations, Petronas has exhausted all diplomatic channels to amicably resolve the issue, the sources added.

Following the toppling of Omar al-Bashir, the transitional government passed an act and formed the Empowerment Removal, Anti-Corruption and Money Retrieving Committee (ERC). It was tasked with reviewing agreements and retrieving assets that were allegedly acquired through illegal means under the previous administration.

Besides investigating the former president and his inner circle, the committee has also targeted and made accusations against foreign investors in Sudan, seizing their assets.

Malaysia’s Petronas has been present in Sudan for more than 20 years and assisted the country in becoming an oil-exporting nation. The United States sanctions on Sudan as a terrorism-sponsoring country had posed significant challenges to foreign companies, including Petronas.

Report: Sudanese delegation visited Israel this week

Elad Benari, Canada , Oct 08 , 2021 10:37 PM

Israel Sudan

A Sudanese delegation made up of senior security and military officials visited Israel earlier this week to discuss relations between the two countries, the Al-Arabiya network reported on Friday.

No details were provided about the meetings.

Sudan became the third Arab country to normalize ties with Israel as part of the Abraham Accords brokered by the Trump Administration in October, 2020, following the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

The agreement between Israel and Sudan was announced days after then-US President Donald Trump officially removed Sudan from the list of nations that sponsor and finance terrorism.

However, despite the agreement, no steps for full normalization between Israel and Sudan have taken place as of yet.

In April, Sudan officially abolished a decades-old law on boycotting Israel, part of efforts to establish normal ties with the Jewish state.

Sudan’s Foreign Minister, Mariam Sadiq Al Mahdi, several weeks ago played down the normalization agreement between her country and Israel, telling The National in an interview that Israel will not be opening an embassy in Khartoum any time soon.

“There’s not any sign of normalization with Israel … and there is no talk at any official level,” she said. “I’m telling you this as the foreign minister … Abolishing a law on boycotting Israel does not mean that we consider opening an Israeli embassy in Khartoum.”

She reiterated the need for Sudan’s new parliament to address the issue of Israel relations when it is formed before anything could be done

Report: US pressing Sudan to establish diplomatic ties with Israel.

Sudan normalized ties with Israel as part of the Abraham Accords, but no steps for full normalization have taken place as of yet.

Elad Benari , Oct 11 , 2021 3:59 AM

Sunset view of Khartoum, Sudan
Sunset view of Khartoum, Sudan

The US administration is pressing Sudan to sign a normalization agreement with Israel, and to establish diplomatic relations with Israel, Kan 11 News’ Amichai Stein reported on Sunday.

The pressure from Washington comes after a year in which Sudan avoided implementing the move, in part because of disagreements at the top of the Sudanese administration between the military and civilian echelons in the country.

Sudan became the third Arab country to normalize ties with Israel as part of the Abraham Accords brokered by the Trump Administration in October, 2020, following the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

The agreement between Israel and Sudan was announced days after then-US President Donald Trump officially removed Sudan from the list of nations that sponsor and finance terrorism.

However, despite the agreement, no steps for full normalization between Israel and Sudan have taken place as of yet.

In April, Sudan officially abolished a decades-old law on boycotting Israel, part of efforts to establish normal ties with the Jewish state.

Sudan’s Foreign Minister, Mariam Sadiq Al Mahdi, several weeks ago played down the normalization agreement between her country and Israel, telling The National in an interview that Israel will not be opening an embassy in Khartoum any time soon.

Sunday’s report follows a report on Friday that a Sudanese delegation made up of senior security and military officials visited Israel last week to discuss relations between the two countries.

Blockade of Port Sudan: what’s behind it and what can end it.

October 6, 2021 9.35am SAST

people protesting
Sudanese protesters gather outside the main entrance to the southern port in Port Sudan. Ibrahim Ishaq/AFP via Getty Images

An ongoing blockade of Sudan’s main port by political protesters is putting a huge strain on the country. The Sudanese government says it’s at the point of running out of essential medicines, fuel, and wheat. Sudan is still going through a finely balanced transition following the overthrow of Omar al-Bashir in April 2019. Political expert, Abdu Mukhtar Musa, provides insights into who’s behind the blockade and why it’s been a challenge in getting it lifted.

Who is behind the blockade of the Port of Sudan?

The blockade is a reaction to the procrastination on the part of the central government of Khartoum to respond to the demands of the people of the eastern region of Sudan.

They are represented by Sayed Tirik, their major tribal leader. He is chairman of the “High Council for the Tribes of the Beja” – composed of six tribes – who live in the north-eastern part of Sudan.

They have put forward some demands as conditions to terminate the two-week-long blockade of the port. Chief among them is the cancelling of the Juba Peace Agreement which was signed in October 2020. They believe that it underestimated the injustice inflicted on the region by the successive central governments of Khartoum since independence.

There are also a number of theories circulating in Khartoum about the blockade. Among them there are:

  • that people close to the deposed militant Islamists’ regime are staging a “counter revolution”,
  • that members of the military component of the Transitional Council of Sovereignty who remain loyal to the toppled President Omar Al-Bashir are involved. The silence of the military component of the Transitional Council of Sovereignty has increased suspicions about a counter revolution.

These rumours have been fuelled by the attempted coup d’état on September 21 which was thwarted by the military.

What are the grievances against the government?

They believe that the government has neglected their demands particularly when it comes to sharing power and wealth and their fair representation in the central government. Their demands also include:

  • deposing the cabinet of Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok and replacing him with a technocrat,
  • the dismantling the system of the toppled regime,
  • cancelling the Juba agreement which was signed October 3, 2020. This gives the eastern region some concessions which the leaders of the blockade consider far below their aspirations;
  • allocating appropriate share for the eastern region from the revenues of the region.
  • suspending any ongoing projects in the region, including in mining and agriculture, until an agreement is reached about how the region will get a fair share.

Are their grievances justified?

Yes, to a great extent. But the means they have pursued are not acceptable. The blockade will harm the entire nation instead of only disturbing the ruling elites.

In my view the leaders of the protest should strike a balance. They need to put pressure on the government to respond to their demands. But they need to do so without throttling the national economy. The blockade is stopping the flow of imports and exports of the country through the main Port of the Sudan. The cabinet said earlier this week that the country was running out of basic commodities notably essential medicines, fuel and wheat.

This suggests that Sudan is on the brink of a damaging crisis that may trigger popular discontent against the government.

The blockade is putting the government in a critical situation. It’s adding more problems to a country that has a great many. People’s living conditions are bad. And there are serious tensions in the civil-military relationship. This is bound to affect the mutual trust between the two components of civil-military alliance of the transitional government.

What must be done to resolve the situation?

It’s a fact that the eastern region suffers from relative deprivation and marginalisation. But it is also true that the means the tribal leader is pursuing are not logical nor acceptable.

In addition, it’s clear that Tirik doesn’t represent the whole region nor is he supported by all ethnicities. The eastern region is a home for about 17 tribes besides the Beja – to whom Tirik belongs.

There are also other stakeholders, such as civil society organisations, political forces, religious groups, and the Native Administration (traditional tribal administrative system). According to the Juba agreement which was signed October 2020 all components of the region are to take part in discussing the problems and demands of their region in one common forum. But, the High Council of the Beja Tribes persists on having its own forum to channel its demands – aloof from other groups and components of the eastern region.

The government should take the following steps:

  • Reject the tribalisation and politicisation of people. The central government has to declare its refusal to deal with any tribal leader. And that it won’t approach problems (or demands) on ethnic lines.
  • Invite communities and all forces of the eastern region to send representatives to negotiate in one forum to discuss possible alternative solutions. The invitation should go out to civil society organisations, political parties, trade unions and native administrations.
  • Declare the blockade a threat to the national security of the country.
  • Declare a state of emergency in the eastern region.
  • Name a technical committee to work out a strategy for a comprehensive solution to the eastern question.

South Sudan and Uganda abolish visas between the two.

6 October, 2021   Source: BBC

Staff at the South Sudan-Uganda border will non longer need to check for travel visas

Ugandans traveling to its neighbour South Sudan no longer require visas to enter the country.

The move reciprocates one taken by Uganda in September to scrap visa entry requirements for South Sudanese that came into effect on Friday.

South Sudan’s Deputy Foreign Minister Deng Dau Deng confirmed the development and said his country’s decision is in line with the requirements of the East African Community (EAC).

South Sudan is the EAC’s newest member and its founding treaty provides for the free movement of people and labour within the community.

Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi are the other member states.

South Sudan joined the EAC in 2016 but has been slow in some adopting some of the protocols including the one establishing a common market.

In July, South Sudan and Kenya also scrapped visas for their nationals traveling between the two countries.