Ethiopia: War in Tigray – Background and state of play Eric Pichon. 2022 12 9. Think Tank European Parliament. https://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/document/EPRS_BRI(2022)739244 https://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/BRIE/2022/739244/EPRS_BRI(2022)739244_EN.pdf War in Ethiopia Center for Preventive Action. 2023 3 31. Council on Foreign Relations. https://www.cfr.org/global-conflict-tracker/conflict/conflict-ethiopia Tigray War Fast Facts CNN Editorial
“since its independence in 1956, Sudan has undergone the highest number of attempted coups of any African nation, the New York times reported Saturday. That kind of entrenched instability tends to breed further coups”
“In April 2019, a military coup ended Sudanese dictator Omar al-Bashir’s 30-year rule, which was marked by press censorship, the jailing of political dissidents, and the imposition of harsh sharia law, all enforced by regime security forces. Following al-Bashir’s arrest, the military worked with civilian parties to establish a transition to democracy and civilian rule”
“That included a transitional power-sharing agreement between the military and civilian leadership, which was then amended with the Juba Peace Agreement in 2020, a deal between the transitional government and several armed groups which sets out the constitutional process and power-sharing arrangements, among other stipulations for the future democratic government. Crucially for the current crisis, civilian leaders insisted on an eventual governmental structure free from military influence; the memory of al-Bashir’s regime and its brutality were still fresh, and a government run under the auspices of the military couldn’t be trusted.”
“But that progress appeared fleeting when al-Burhan moved to seize power on October 25, forcing Hamdok into house arrest, detaining other members of the civilian government, and using deadly force to crack down on the massive, widespread protests against the coup that occurred over the past month.”
“Since the coup, according to Siegle, the junta, led by al-Burhan, has been searching for a civilian leader to serve as a figurehead prime minister while the military maintained actual control, and even appointed some politicians from the al-Bashir government, like Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, who led brutal campaigns against opposition fighters in Darfur, into leadership positions — essentially trying to continue the regime that civilian groups had sacrificed so much to overthrow just two short years ago.
When the junta was unable to find a suitably legitimate figurehead, Siegle theorizes, it was decided that Hamdok would be able to return to his position and preside over a “technocratic” cabinet. What that means is unclear, however: While protesters are calling for absolutely no military influence in the selection of the cabinet, there have not been assurances that Hamdok will be free to select his own ministers.”
“Already, as civilian protest leaders have made clear, there’s little confidence in Hamdok’s return to office, and demonstrations will likely continue”
“Sudan’s move toward democracy is in peril, after the military seized control of the country’s transitional government in a coup.
The country’s democratic project began just two years ago, after Sudan’s longtime dictator Omar al-Bashir was ousted amid mass protests in 2019. Civil society and protest leaders and the military ultimately reached a power-sharing arrangement that put both in charge of the country with the commitment of transitioning to full civilian rule, which would lead to a new constitution and elections in 2023.
[The] coup has upended that entire endeavor, fracturing what was already a tenuous arrangement between the military and civilian factions and jeopardizing any gains made. Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, Sudan’s top general, orchestrated the power grab, detaining the civilian prime minister Abdalla Hamdok and other civilian leaders, and firing ambassadors who resisted the takeover.
But the coup also reignited resistance, as protesters returned to the streets in cities and towns across Sudan to denounce the military takeover. The Sudanese military shut down the internet, making it difficult to fully understand the scope of the resistance — and the security forces’ response to it — especially outside major cities like Khartoum. At least 170 people have been injured, and at least seven people killed in Monday’s protests, according to data compiled by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Some pro-democracy leaders have reportedly been detained.”
“At its core, then, the deal looks like a trade where the US and Israel give Sudan financial support in exchange for diplomatic normalization.”
“a joint US-Israeli delegation traveled to Sudan for talks with the government. Two days later, Trump removed the Arab-led North African nation from America’s state sponsors of terrorism list. It’s a move he promised to make once the country paid $335 million to American victims of terror for the country’s harboring of Osama bin Laden in the 1990s.
The UAE also played a role in the negotiations, as Sudan asked the country — and the US — for billions in economic aid as part of signing this deal. That makes sense, as the country is desperately in need of cash. Whether the US and UAE start funneling money into Sudan remains to be seen.
A political earthquake in Sudan also made the announcement possible. A protest movement kicked Sudan’s Islamist leaders out of power last year, ushering in a new military-led government that wants to end its global pariah status. Making amends with the US and saying it is no longer hostile to Israel is one way to do just that.”
“more broadly, regional politics in the greater Middle East have changed dramatically in recent years.
Whereas the Israeli-Palestinian conflict once served as a major axis around which Middle East and Arab-government politics rotated, with many countries aligned with the Palestinians against Israel, that’s now changed. What animates the foreign policies of many Middle Eastern countries these days is the Arab-Israel standoff with Iran — which some have dubbed a “cold war.”
With less need to bash Israel and back Palestine, Sudan had more freedom to strike the deal.”