Like the childhood game, 'musical chairs'; the music is still playing in Sudan. As one leader is ousted, the next takes his place, and then he quickly steps down. However, this is not sitting well with the protesters in the streets. They are demanding a secular civilian government, with freedom and democracy, to follow a transitional administration which is not military in composition. President Omar al-Bashir is a general, who came to power in a military coup in 1989. Bashir ruled Sudan as a brutal dictator, while hiding behind an Islamist regime. The protesters view the military coup as more of the same, and they are demanding a secular government in the future.
The military coup in Sudan was engineered by foreign intervention. Despite continuous trips to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Bashir was ousted. Saudi Arabia was the main benefactor of Bashir, after Sudan had supported the Saudi war on Yemen by sending troops. Saudi Arabia has sent $2.1 billion to Sudan over the past four years; however, Bashir neglected to follow through on a key demand; to establish a relationship with Israel.
Sudan has been an impoverished nation, riddled with corruption, and led by a regime which has not responded to the needs of its people; however, Bashir was able to rule for decades. The countdown to his ouster began when he visited Syria in December 2018, in a surprising and somewhat mysterious trip aboard a Russian plane which landed in Damascus. What his purpose was, and what messages he carried, and from whom are shrouded in political fog. But, what we do know is that the street protests began immediately after that trip.
Israel has a strategic objective to normalize relations with Saudi Arabia and the Arab Gulf. Instead of pursuing an Israeli-Palestinian peace process, with an eventual peace treaty, they decided to circumvent that process entirely by concentrating only on making friends with Arab countries who are pro-American. This would isolate Occupied Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Iran and the Lebanese resistance. The Arab Gulf perceives their greatest threat is from Iran, which is a common held belief by Israel. The envisioned Israeli-Arab pact would be similar to NATO; building relationships based on common threats. Israel already has some friends in the Arab world: Jordan, Egypt, and Morocco.
Salah Abdallah Gosh, the head of Sudan's National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS), met with Mossad chief Yossi Cohen at the Munich Security Conference in February. Gosh has the backing of the US, Egypt and the Arab Gulf, and he is seen as a driving force behind the coup. Bashir had been told he had to normalize his relationship with Israel, as part of the conditions to remaining in power, but he failed to follow through.
#1. First Vice President and Defence Minister Lieutenant General Ahmed Awad Ibn Auf
#2. National Intelligence and Security Service chief Gen. Salah Abdullah Gosh
#3. Leader of the Rapid Support Forces Mohamed Hamdan Daglo
The three have been linked to human rights abuses and to the mass killings in Darfur, as was Bashir. It is unclear how western leaders will be able to deal with a military regime which may also face the International Criminal Court.
Israel and the Muslim Brotherhood work well together, and this is evident in UK and USA. The "Jihadists in 3 piece suits" are well known to work hand in hand with Israeli objectives. Zionism and Radical Islam are both political ideologies, and are not a religion, nor a sect; many experts see them as 2 sides of a coin. Bashir and his regime were part of the Muslim Brotherhood.
The streets were full in Khartoum after Friday prayers, as the protesters continued their demands. The military troika responded by cooking up a new version of the same dish, and another General took up the lead position: Gen. Abdul Fatteh Burhan. He was the commander of the Sudanese forces fighting in Yemen, and was based in UAE. Most importantly, he is not accused of any war crimes linked to Darfur.
In the last hours of his regime, Bashir was phoning Israel, and asking for their help to remain in power, and promising them a free hand in developing the ruined economy. Sudan's resources are vast: oil; gold; brass; zinc; silver; fertile agricultural lands.
Sudan is in chaos, following the coup, which then experienced a hand-over from the troika to Gen. Burhan.
Sara Abdelgalil, speaking on behalf of the Sudanese Professionals Association, said “They are recycling the faces, and this will return us to where we have been. We insist on a civil government until there is a complete step-down of the whole regime." Dalia el Roubi of the Sudan Congress Party, an independent secularist party, made statements which echoed those of Abdelgalil.
Experts see the situation in Sudan escalating, as foreign powers jockey for position. The Americans and their allies are facing off against Chinese projects across Africa. With the quickly shifting sands in Sudan, it is impossible to predict who will be able to establish a foot-hold, and who will reap the benefits.