In the Mayhem After Bashir's Ouster, Sudan May Find an Unlikely Ally in Iran

One of the main stories of the week has been the resignation of President Omar al-Bashir, the dictator who ruled over Sudan for 30 years. Sudan is an Arab country and has been drawn into the Yemeni war by working with Saudi Arabia and the UAE. What will happen if Sudan changes to democratic rule? Or is the country better under military rule?

These are questions to which we are still awaiting the answer. And it is possible that Sudan could turn to Iran for support. Here is the reason why as outlined by Haaretz newspaper.

In the Mayhem After Bashir's Ouster, Sudan May Find an Unlikely Ally in Iran

The dictator who ruled over the African country for 30 years may have been booted, but Sudan is still deep in crisis

Zvi Bar'el

Apr 14, 2019 2:08 AM

Democracy or military rule? You can just imagine the teeth-gritting and nail-biting by analysts and intelligence heads in Washington, Moscow, China, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Israel since the start of the week. They're all quite familiar with the Sudanese military elite. Many, apparently including Mossad head Yossi Cohen, have met with General Salah Gosh, head of Sudanese intelligence, and also with Defense Minister Awad Ibn Aouf. Some of them have also clocked some time with President Omar al-Bashir, who has been forced to step down after three decades of dictatorship and placed under arrest by the man who was named defense minister.

Bashir and the military and intelligence elites were a strong foundation through which these countries managed their security interests in eastern Africa. U.S. ties with Khartoum were like a roller coaster. The military coup Bashir engineered in 1989 against the democratically elected President Sadiq al-Mahdi was correctly regarded as the start of a threatening era. An Islamist alliance that Bashir and his officers forged with the head of the National Islamic Front and Muslim Brotherhood figure Hassan Torabi linked Sudan with Osama Bin Laden, who lived in Sudan from 1990 to 1996 until he was expelled under U.S. pressure.

Religious law became the basis for the country's constitution, and local councils throughout Sudan sent representatives to the parliament, more or less along the lines of the model built by the Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi. The West feared Sudan was becoming a second Iran, and sanctions weren't far behind.

Most of the sanctions were lifted two years ago and afterwards the CIA hastened to open one of its largest bases in the region in Khartoum. Sudan disengaged from Iran and joined the Arab coalition in Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen, which enriched its state coffers by some $2.2 billion sent by the Saudis and the United Arab Emirates, drawing Sudan closer to pro-Western Arab bloc states.

Thousands of Sudanese soldiers were sent to the battlefields of Yemen. Bashir, against whom the World Court in The Hague issued a criminal arrest warrant in 2009 for war crimes in Darfur, began to leave his palace to travel to Arab and Muslim countries.

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Wednesday, 18 September 2019