Foreign players in Sudan’s transition
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.