Sudan proceeds with normalization with Israel after the US administration’s decision to remove its name from its list of states sponsoring terrorism, and the congress’s approval of the Sudan Sovereign Immunity Act, which immunizes it from any lawsuits related to terrorism, except for those related to the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States. Let all eyes turn to the future of the normalization file and the disputes over it at the American level, and internally between the military and civilian components of the transitional authority.
From the point of view of the legal expert and former Sudanese Foreign Minister Dardiri Mohamed Ahmed, dropping the name of Sudan from the list of terrorism was just a maneuver in which the United States replaced old means of pressure with new ones that were more compatible and more lethal.
Keeping the name of Sudan in the list of states sponsoring terrorism – according to the legal expert – “without good justification, and without success in linking Sudan with a single terrorist operation; it has remained embarrassing for America over the past two decades, so how about it after the change that occurred in the ruling class, and this is how America ensured that Despite Sudan’s exit from the list of terrorism, it remains subject to its procedures and is being prosecuted according to those procedures, and perhaps for decades to come. “
Officially, Sudanese government officials preferred to fast rather than make any statements regarding the normalization file, until the lifting of US sanctions reached its conclusion with the issuance of a law from Congress that would protect Khartoum from terrorism claims, except for those related to the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.
According to an official at the presidential palace, government officials have preferred to remain silent while they are waiting for the fruits to be reaped, due to the gathering of the agenda in Congress and the imposition of the transition phase from Donald Trump to Joe Biden, according to his statement to Al Jazeera Net.
The attempts of transitional government officials in Sudan to disengage the blacklist and normalization tracks, due to the frank link shown by US President Donald Trump between the two tracks.
And the head of the Transitional Sovereignty Council, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, was forced to transfer requirements to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo over a phone conversation last month, according to which Khartoum would suspend normalization with Israel in the event that the immunity law was not issued by Congress.
It appears that the Sudanese conditions moved the “Israeli lobby” (pressure groups), which began a lobbying campaign for congressional approval of the immunity for Sudan, despite the opposition of the leader of the Democratic majority, Senator Chuck Schumer, and the leader of the Democrats in the Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Robert Mendendez.
The former media official at the Sudanese embassy in Washington, Makki al-Maghribi, considers the pressures made by Israel and its “lobby” in the United States to “real service” to Sudan, and it has repercussions.
Al-Maghrabi says to Al-Jazeera Net that the problem is with the government benefiting from the Israeli service, and not falling into obstacles – which he avoided identifying – at the present time.
He expected that Sudan would fall into some problems after leaving the blacklist, perhaps the first of which was legal immunity, which did not include the attacks of September 11, 2001.
The former official at the Sudanese embassy in Washington is trying to give an approach to what the relations between Khartoum and Washington will be like in the coming period, saying that America will identify other means of pressure other than the list of terrorism, and it knows what it wants from Sudan.
And warns that the United States has turned a blind eye to extending the transitional period in Sudan; This means that the elections will not be held on the date specified by the constitutional document.
He points out that the law passed by Congress last March to support civilian rule in Sudan contained Chapter 12, which talks about sanctions that could be applied due to the delay in elections.
He expected Sudan to face sanctions because of democracy, but they will not be as severe as that which Washington practiced at the head of the previous regime, which was more stubborn.
Between the military and civilians
The normalization file casts a darker shadow over the already troubled relationship between the military and civilians in the transitional government since the head of the Sovereignty Council, Abdel-Fattah Al-Burhan, visited Entebbe, the Ugandan, and secretly met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last February.
At the time, the executive government headed by Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok denied prior knowledge of the meeting, who in turn divided the political incubator for the government, the “Forces of Freedom and Change.”
Recently, Information Minister Faisal Muhammad Salih criticized the army for developing relations with Israel without notifying government officials, after an Israeli delegation visited the defense industries system in Khartoum two months ago.
But the strategic expert and lecturer at the Supreme Security Academy, Major General Amin Ismail Majzoub, says that the army found itself in front of the file of normalization with Israel, based on its participation in government, and it was necessary to deal with the file.
Makki al-Maghribi warns against trying to isolate the military or civilians in the authority with the files of normalization and exit from the blacklist, because that would weaken Sudan’s position.
Deal with the jurisprudence of necessity
The political forces and the transitional authority see before them the issue of normalization as a step imposed by necessity rather than the desire for normalization in itself.
This case was expressed by the leader of the Justice and Equality Movement, Gabriel Ibrahim, before the decision to be removed from the blacklist, saying, “It is an attempt by the government that may bear fruit or may not.”
The spokesman for the movement, Mutassim Ahmed Saleh, goes on to explain this position to Al Jazeera Net, by saying that foreign relations are led by the supreme interests of the country, and the interest in the normalization file is linked to removing Sudan from the list of terrorism. In order to free himself from his isolation, and obtain loans and investments that reduce his economic stumbling block.
He adds that normalization was not an end for the government in itself, but it was obliged to it after the US administration explicitly linked the blacklist to normalization, but at the same time it advised to achieve this interest away from the competition between the military and civilians in managing the file.
Desired fruits of normalization
The spokesman for the Justice and Equality Movement seems optimistic that Sudan will obtain many benefits from normalization, given that Israel is a developed country in agricultural techniques and scientific research.
Although the popular forces to resist normalization believe that the countries that preceded normalization did not benefit economically, the movement’s spokesman says that this is not true. For example, Jordan is a poor country in terms of resources, but because of its relations with Israel, it receives American aid that guarantees its people a better standard of living, health and education than the Sudanese.
He points out that, because of the Camp David agreement with Israel, Egypt is getting huge US aid, and it is the second largest aid provided by the United States in the region.