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Daily News Analysis

Coup in Khartoum: End of the ‘normalization’ project with Zionist entity?

Dr Mustafa Bothwell Mheta

The military has overthrown the government in Sudan.

There are reports that Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok has been placed under house arrest for refusing to endorse the coup.

Information about who in the military is behind this coup is sketchy at present?

There were reports of the arrest of five other senior government figures.

These included Industry Minister Ibrahim al-Sheikh, Information Minister Hamza Baloul, and Mohammed al-Fiky Suliman, member of the country’s ruling transitional body, known as the Sovereign Council, as well as Faisal Mohammed Saleh, a media adviser to Hamdok.

Ayman Khalid, governor of the state where the capital, Khartoum, is located has also been arrested, according to his official Facebook page.

There are two possibilities about the potential coup-makers.

It could be either loyalists to ousted president Omar al-Bashir or local forces opposed to the current military leadership playing gallery to the so-called “Abrahamic Accords” which seek to normalize ties between Sudan and Israel.

If true, this could be a blow to the Saudi-Emiriti axis that seeks to promote the so-called normalization move with Zionist/Apartheid Israel.

When Sudan joined the so-called normalization bandwagon, there were huge demonstrations in Khartoum and many parts of the country against the move.

However, the Khartoum establishment ignored people’s discontent and announced the normalization which was surreptitiously forced on them by Washington.

It is clear that the US/Zionist axis was merely dangling the carrot to poor and starved Sudan, with promises of removal of sanctions plus new IMF loans to Sudan.

However, it seems nothing much on those promises has come through even after two years.

Poverty and unemployment still persist; they may have gotten worse.

The youth have become so dejected that most of them do not see any future of prosperity despite all those promises of economic boom after the imposed “normalization" with Israel.

The coup shows that there is more to it than meets the eye.

Sudan has been on edge since a failed coup plot last month unleashed bitter recriminations between military and civilian groups meant to be sharing power following the toppling of the country’s long-time leader Omar al-Bashir.

As usual, the toothless Arab League has released a statement condemning the coup.

It said it was “deeply” concerned about the military coup in Sudan.

The Arab League is well known for saying something about nothing, and nothing happens. The Arab League itself is a “captured entity” that has lost all credibility as far as the Arab people are concerned.

The United Nations (UN) meanwhile has released a statement condemning the coup and called for the release of all “civilian leaders”.

It called the arrests “unacceptable”.

“I am deeply concerned about reports of an ongoing coup and attempts to undermine Sudan’s political transition. The reported detentions of the Prime Minister, government officials, and politicians are unacceptable,” said Volker Perthes, UN special representative to Sudan.

“I call on the security forces to immediately release those who have been unlawfully detained or placed under house arrest,” he said in a statement on Twitter.

The European Union has expressed grave concern about a possible military takeover under way in Sudan. EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Twitter that he is following events in the northeast African nation with the “utmost concern”.

“The EU calls on all stakeholders and regional partners to put back on track the transition process,” Borrell wrote.

However, what is astonishing is the apparent silence of the continental body, the African Union.

As usual, it is waiting to hear from its handlers in Washington DC, London, and Paris about what to say.

Almost all the continental bodies have released statements condemning the coup, yet the AU secretariat seems asleep. Are they suffering from a hangover?

For AU diplomats, it seems, working for the organization is just another job.

They are not seized with developments on the continent.

It’s all about their salaries and working for themselves, not the people of Africa.

That is why, Mr. Mussa Faki Mahamat should be dismissed from the AU as a matter of urgency.

Serious people are needed if the world is to place any premium on the continent.

By Dr. Mustafa Mheta is Senior researcher/Head of Africa Desk at the Media Review Network in Johannesburg, South Africa

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