Saudi Arabia and UAE Secretly Supported the Military Coup in Sudan

It can be said that the security of the Sudan is the priority of the Gulf, not the democratic political process, with a preference for Generals supporting the regional normalization project, especially as Sudan became a hotbed for regional and international competition to attract it. 

The Gulf States recognize the importance of Sudan, and its strategic position makes it the subject of regional rivalry. However, it lies in the heart of the Nile Valley and the Horn of Africa, in the Red Sea system, and possesses a vast wealth of natural gas, gold, silver and minerals, which makes country’s competition to win it fierce. 

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates supported the Sudanese Sovereignty Council in April 2019 and paid billions of dollars to support the coup. The aim was to reduce the role of Qatar and Turkey who had a special relationship with Al-Bashir, who sent 15,000 Sudanese troops to participate in the Yemen war beside Saudi Arabia to reconciliate with the latter.

Riyadh and Abu Dhabi tend to deal more with generals, preferring a scenario closer to the Egyptian experience; A civilian-faced military command.

The Military Coup Forces Shot Protestors with Live Bullets

In Khartoum, hundreds of Sudanese demonstrated in protest at the military coup, led by General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan on October 25, to demand civilian rule. The coup d’état faced the demonstrators with all means of repression and violence, resulting in dozens of deaths.

The Group of Sudanese Professionals rejected any settlement with the military, and asserted that “the only way is to overthrow this authority and establish a transitional civilian national authority”.

Civil and international society condemned the 25 October military coup, the arrest of some 20 members of the Sovereign Council, the Council of Ministers and other prominent officials, including the Prime Minister, as well as two leaders of the Darfur Peace Agreement, and the violent and disproportionate repression of demonstrators by both the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces. 

People has protested peacefully to defy this military coup while the excessive use of force and the firing of live bullets into the crowds killed at least seven people and injured about 150 others.

The African Union, the United Nations, IGAD and Western donors condemned the coup and demanded a return to civilian rule.

The Central Medical Committee, as well, a pro-civic union in Sudan, said that five demonstrators were killed by live bullets in the head, chest and abdomen, bringing the number of the dead to 10 last week.

International communities called on the new rulers to end their abuse against peaceful protestors

The justification for a crackdown on rights in the name of the rule of law is a traditional authoritarian justification that is well known to the Sudanese, and which they courageously protested against. Therefore, those facing allegations of responsibility for serious human rights violations must be stopped, pending judicial investigation and the determination of their cases. Law enforcement operations also must be conducted by trained police forces.

As per Human Rights Watch, The Sudan has not taken any steps in the way of the necessary reform of the security sector, deploying untrained or equipped forces for law enforcement tasks, and carrying out many violations, as in the past, where SAF violently dispersed demonstrators in Khartoum, killing two and injuring others. Last October, rapid support forces killed five demonstrators in the eastern Sudan town of Kassala. Militaries also illegally arrested dozens of civilians and tortured a protester to death.

Efforts to combat impunity and advance transitional justice mechanisms must be pursued. The perpetrators of grave human rights violations, including international crimes committed under the Bashir regime, and even crimes committed during the transitional period, especially those related to June, 3 must be held accountable.

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