In a report aired on the Saudi-owned, Dubai-based, al-arabiyya TV channel on 27 April 2019, Shams ad-Deen al-Kabashi, a spokesman for the Sudanese Military Council (TMC) that has assumed control of the country, has thanked Egypt, Saudi Arabia (KSA), and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for their “support.”
In previous reporting the TMC has claimed that their discussions with the leaders of the popular civilian protests (which have led to the arrest and imprisonment of former president al-Basheer and some of his supporters) have been fruitful (although Egypt’s al-Ahram is reporting that the protesters are still protesting because they want an immediate transfer of power to civilian rule).
This Arab Spring 2.0 coup has been accomplished with minimal bloodshed in contrast to the Arab Spring 1.0 of 2011-2012. Turning power over to “civilian” rule immediately sounds to me like a one-way ticket to Muslim Brotherhood rule like we saw in Egypt in 2012.
The singling out of Egypt, KSA, and the UAE for praise by the TMC raises some interesting questions. Such as:
Did Egypt, KSA, and UAE engineer the protests and dethronement of al-Basheer?
Or, did they simply offer advice on how to quell the protests and engineer a change of personnel at the top without resorting to violence, and/or a radical change in the system of government?
Or, are Egypt, KSA, and UAE only offering “congratulations,” and “recognition” of the TMC as the “sovereign” authority in Sudan?
What ever the real answers to those questions are, the interest of these three Arab countries in the Sudan equation is a positive development regardless of the level they actually played in terms of the outcome. Here is why:
The former ruler, al-Basheer, was a prancing, preening, thug, a caricature in a Sacha Baron Cohen comedy, and an embarrassment to the entire Arab world. Certainly, the neighboring moderate Arab states had plenty of reason to want to deep six him.
Also, during the Arab Spring 1.0, though many of these uprisings were popular and spontaneous, once under way the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) assumed control of the movements. This has led to much bloodshed in most of those countries, the collapse of governments, and contributed to the rise and expansion of ISIS. In Egypt the MB actually got itself elected to power (with a little help from its friends in the Obama administration).
The “moderate” Arab states of Egypt, KSA, and UAE do not want to see a repeat of that catastrophe, so they may well have stepped in to influence events in one way or another.
In addition, the MB clone and world’s number one state sponsor of terrorism Turkey has been showing interest in East Africa for several years. There was a real danger that the Arab Spring 2.0 in Sudan could have easily been taken over by Turkey and the MB, had the three “moderates” not moved in to head it off.
It still remains to be seen whether or not the alleged “understandings” between the TMC and the protestors will hold, and whether or not there will be a peaceful transition of power, or whether or not the MB actually ends up gaining control of the situation in Sudan. However, the involvement of Egypt, KSA, and the UAE should be seen as a positive for the international interests who want to see stability in the M.E. and Red Sea region, and a curtailing of MB and other radical influences.