What Sisi Wants from Sudan

Source: Carnegie

Author(s): Khaled Mahmoud

Original Link: https://carnegieendowment.org/sada/78367

On January 27, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir made a surprise visit to Cairo, where he praised Egypt’s support for “Sudanese stability” against widespread protests that have been ongoing since December 19. These demonstrations against Sudan’s deteriorating economic situation are calling for the end of the regime, posing the greatest challenge to Bashir since he took power in 1989. Adding to their intensity, on January 25 Sadiq al-Mahdi, Sudan’s main opposition leader, threw his weight behind the escalating street protests, which have left over 40 dead and more than 1,000 in jail. Demonstrations continue in at least eleven cities despite the regime’s desperate attempts to quell them through tear gas and live bullets.

Bashir’s visit to Cairo follows weeks of support for the Sudanese regime from Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. On December 27, only days after the protests broke out, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri and intelligence chief Abbas Kamel headed to Khartoum to boost “continuous communication between the two sides at all levels.” On January 5, Sisi received Sudanese Vice President Mohammed El-Merghani and told him that Sudanese stability was an integral part of Egyptian national security. Yet Egypt’s own foreign, economic, and security interests are driving Cairo’s support for Bashir.

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