US Special Envoy Says Met With Sudanese Military Chief One Day Before Coup
07:31 GMT 29.10.2021 (Updated: 13:25 GMT 06.08.2022)
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – US Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, Jeffrey Feltman, said that he met with the head of the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Transitional Sovereign Council, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, to discuss the transition period the day before the situation in Sudan escalated.
“I saw him twice, two-and-a-half-hours on Saturday, an hour or so on Sunday. On Sunday, it was one-on-one. And he was talking to me about his concerns with the transition, what he saw as stumbling blocks in the transition, problems in the transition, disarray on the civilian side, the lack of some institutions,” Feltman said on the PBS NewsHour TV program.
Al-Burhan and the head of the paramilitary forces, General Hemeti, have never hinted that they would dissolve the government through military tools but discussed with the US means to address “their ostensible concerns with how the transition was going,” he added.
Al-Burhan will soon realize that it is not so easy to return Sudan "to the dark past” during the 1989-2019 ruling of President Omar al- Bashir, given the determination of protesters to prevent such a scenario along with major international and regional pressure on the general, Feltman said.
When asked to comment on the lack of major condemnation of the military regime in Sudan from countries like Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, the diplomat said that their tacit support would be of little use to Sudan, particularly in solving impending economic problems.
"Sudan was in the process of restructuring something like $85 billion worth of debt. I don't think that the countries you mentioned are going to be able to replace the international community, the international financial institutions in dealing with the economic issues that Sudan faces," he explained.
Earlier this week, the World Bank suspended financial aid to Sudan over the military coup.
The Sudanese military on 25 October detained Prime Minister Hamdok and several other members of the government. Fattah al-Burhan declared a state of emergency in the country and the dissolution of the government. On 26 October, Hamdok and his wife were reported to have returned to their residence in the capital.
In April 2019, Sudan saw a military coup d'etat, sparked by protests amid a deep economic crisis and declining living standards. Al-Bashir, who ruled for 30 years, was removed from power and later imprisoned.
In September 2021, the Sudanese authorities announced that they had thwarted an attempted military coup. According to a statement from the command of the armed forces, most of the participants in the coup attempt were detained, including 21 officers and a number of soldiers. Hamdok said at the time that the coup attempt indicated the need for reforms in the army and security agencies. The Sudanese authorities slammed the supporters of al-Bashir as the organizers of the mutiny.