For­eign play­ers in Su­dan’s tran­si­tion

The Africa Report - - FEATURES -

US

Wash­ing­ton has his­tor­i­cally played a big role in Su­dan’s con­flicts, but that is not the case un­der the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion. The US was crit­i­cised for quickly meet­ing with RSF leader Hemeti dur­ing the tran­si­tion. Trump would pre­fer a gov­ern­ment with a strong leader with a firm line about fight­ing Is­lamist rebel groups in North Africa and be­yond.

Rus­sia

Moscow is look­ing to make head­way in sit­u­a­tions where the West’s po­si­tion is weak. While Putin and Bashir had a good re­la­tion­ship, that does not yet seem to be hurt­ing Rus­sian in­ter­ests. High on the cur­rent agenda are strength­en­ing mil­i­tary ties, with talk about Rus­sia set­ting up a naval base.

EU

Brussels has come out in favour of a rapid han­dover to a civil­ian gov­ern­ment, but un­like Gulf coun­tries, it is not putting up money to get its point across. The EU com­pro­mised with the pre­vi­ous Bashir regime in or­der to fight mi­gra­tion flows, with the EU giv­ing money to Khar­toum and strength­en­ing the hand of the RSF.

China

Bei­jing has not been as big a backer of Khar­toum since South Su­dan took its oil re­serves with it at in­de­pen­dence in 2011. The Chi­nese gov­ern­ment’s of­fi­cial line is that it does not in­ter­fere in the in­ter­nal af­fairs of other coun­tries. Nonethe­less, Bei­jing’s diplo­mats are keenly fol­low­ing the go­ings on in Khar­toum.

Gulf coun­tries

On one side are the UAE and Saudi Ara­bia, which have promised bil­lions of aid for their al­lies in the mil­i­tary regime in con­tin­ued sup­port for their war in Ye­men. On the other are Qatar and Turkey, which were close to the Bashir regime and as such do not have as much in­flu­ence in Su­dan to­day.

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