Normalization with Israel, desired by the United States before next November, the date of the presidential election, is not realized in Sudan. Neither US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit to Khartoum last August nor Abu Dhabi’s talks with US officials last week proved fruitful.
The Sudanese authorities say they are under strong Saudi and Emirati pressure to accept normalization with Israel, but Khartoum opposes and opposes its reasons. Sudan failed to get the urgent $ 2 billion request in aid to save the country from economic collapse. Discussions have therefore been slowed down.
Abdallah Hamdok’s interim government prefers to play for the time being. Not after being elected, he cannot face the popular protest against normalization with Israel. “I have no mandate from the people to make a decision of such significance,” the Sudanese Prime Minister had already informed Mike Pompeo as early as August last year.
Sudan faced a fait accompli
The Sudanese authorities also have the feeling of being confronted with a fait accompli. The desired normalization with Israel was not among the conditions demanded by Sudan to remove its name from the blacklist. It was added to that when Khartoum accepted all US demands, such as political reforms and multi-million dollar compensation to the victims of the 1998 attacks in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, as well as for USS Cole from Yemen in 2000.
If the Sudanese sovereign council seems divided on the subject and the soldiers in this council seem to be in favor of Israel, the main political groups reject this normalization. Sadek al Mahdi, the leader of the Umma party, said he denied “this submission and this injustice that has nothing to do with peace”.
The country’s highest religious authority has banned normalization with Tel Aviv in a fatwa. Only three small formations are for, including the smaller branch led by Fadel al Mahdi from the Umma Party.
► See also: United States pushes Sudan to normalize its relations with Israel