Africa Confidential: Burhan bringing Islamists back in Sudan

A new Africa Confidential report has stated that Islamists of all stripes, and not just the ones belonging to the former regime, are being brought back into the government by coup leader Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.

AlTaghyeer: Khartoum

According to Africa Confidential, “Islamists – and not just members of the formerly ruling National Congress Party (NCP) – are being restored to their privileges and taking important government jobs” by coup leader Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.

Africa Confidential warned that there were also growing fears that jihadists might walk back into the scene in Sudan, given that the coup leaders’ inability to agree having led them to resort to bringing back the Islamists.

The report stated that al-Burhan could eventually claim again that the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) are not interested in ruling Sudan but will “have no choice because civilian politics is so divisive.”

The many failures al-Burhan had encountered while attempting to build a civilian party and while trying to appoint a civilian prime minister, and his most recent failure – supported by Egypt – pertaining to engaging with the Democratic Unionist Party, had made him sympathetic to another cause.

Africa Confidential reported that University of Khartoum Vice-Chancellor Fadwa Abdelrahman Ali Taha and her colleagues’ attempts at building a front “of Resistance Committees free of Communists and other radicals” had caught the attention of al-Burhan, until they had failed at organizing a rally they had planned for months and eventually “gave up.”

Soon after that, the University of Khartoum directors were laid off en-masse and all replaced in what the leading African politics newsletter described as a move designed to ” was to give greater space to the NCP Islamists.”

The report also called the release of several Islamist figures from detention – most prominently the former NCP boss and al-Bashir’s former foreign minister Ibrahim Ghandour – an “important step” that highlighted the Islamists’ control over the Office of the Attorney General and the Public Prosecutor.

“This influence on the justice process – although not all judicial officials were NCP sympathisers – resulted in the reinstatement of 102 diplomats, including 48 ambassadors, 35 junior diplomats, and 19 administrative staff. All were NCP members or appointed through NCP patronage regardless of their qualifications,” the report state.

The newsletter also stated that al-Burhan was never going to hand over deposed president Omar al-Bashir to the International Criminal Court due to it resulting in him being obliged to hand over others to justice.

Popular Defense Forces leader and notorious Islamist Ali Ahmed Karti – who many believe is in Khartoum, not Istanbul – being able to evade arrest easily due to his good connection to the security forces, was used as another example of al-Burhan wanting to “keep all doors open.”

In reference to the presidential palace sit-in that took place days before the October 25th coup, the newsletter highlighted Gen. Hisham Hussein, who was promoted to deputy after Ahmed Mufaddal’s replacement of Jamal Abdel Majid as head of the General Intelligence Services, as the primary funder of the coup-supporting sit-in.

Africa Confidential also called Hussein a “key commander” in the recently US sanctioned Central Reserve Police.

Disappointed Traveler

The London based newsletter reported that after the many visits to different countries taken by al-Burhan, he was angry at having come back to Sudan empty handed.

The UAE, who al-Burhan banked on its support, only offered little in terms of finance and many in complaints regarding the release of several Islamists from custody.

Only Egypt, as per the report, had sympathy for al-Burhan, with Egyptian president al-Sisi telling him that Cairo did not mind having Islamists on board as bureaucrats so long as it is made clear to them that the military was in charge.

This, according to Africa Confidential, had unintended consequences, with the release of Ghandour and other Islamists leading to the formation of the Broad Islamic Trend, an umbrella coalition for Islamists that includes figures such as Mohamed al Jazouli, the leader of the State of Law and Development Party and an Islamic State (ISIS) supporter.

Justice and Equality Movement head and Minister of Finance in the coup government, Jibreel Ibrahim, has also suffered these unintended consequences, having been viewed previously as a rallying figure for Islamists by Islamists, he is now viewed as no more than a “Darfuri politician” and a “failing finance minister.”


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Publish date : 2022-05-14 23:44:10

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