Visit ArabTopics.com

Robert Fisk: Sudan Protesters Were Right to Fear the Arrival of Saudi and UAE Money

The Sudanese democracy demonstrators were the first to protest at Saudi Arabia’s interference in their revolution. We all knew that the Saudis and the Emiratis had been funnelling millions of dollars into the regime of Omar al-Bashir, wanted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court and now chucked out of power by a Sisi-like military cabal. But it was the sit-in protesters who first thought up the slogan: “We do not want Saudi aid even if we have to eat beans and falafel!”

It was shouted, of course, along with the more familiar chants of ‘revolution of the people”.

Few noticed this little development – save, to give it credit, The Washington Post– but the dozens of waterlogged bodies being dragged from the Nile should focus our attention on the support which the Emiratis and especially the Saudis are now lavishing upon the pseudo-transitional military government in Sudan.

We should not be surprised. The frequent judicial head-chopping of Saudi prisoners after travesty trials, then the chopped-up remains of an executed Saudi journalist and now the decaying Sudanese corpses sloshing along the longest river in Africa – along with the Saudi-Emirati assault on Yemen and the subsequent slaughter – possess a kind of gruesome familiarity. Political problems resolved by cruel death.

What the hundreds of thousands of protesters, now hiding from the ruthlessness of the killer-militias unleashed by the new and supposedly temporary regime, want to know is simple – and it’s not whether Omar al-Bashir will go for trial

The protesters want answers about the true nature of the relationship between the Gulf states and two men: the “Rapid Support Forces” commander, the frightening Mohamed Hamdan Dagolo – aka “Hemeti” – and Abdul Fattah al-Burhan, the theoretical head of the military council which took over the country after they overthrew Bashir. Both men recently visited the Gulf states – and the Sudanese who were camped out in their capital want to know why Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates promised $3bn (£2.7bn) in aid to the transitional government.

Hence their preference for beans and falafel – the chickpea-filled patty which probably originated in Egypt – rather than Saudi cash. But talking of Egypt, the Sudanese also realise that their own new and revolutionary experience in demanding Bashir’s overthrow along with civilian rulers who will arrange democratic elections has some remarkable parallels with the experience of Cairo’s demonstrators after 2011.

Mubarak was the “Omar Bashir” of Egypt, of course, and General Mohamed Tantawi, Egyptian head of the supreme council of the armed forces military council, the Scaf (the job of which was to safeguard future elections, needless to say), played the role of Burhan, now head of Sudan’s military council. Real elections did give Egypt almost a year of rule by the freely elected if deeply flawed Muslim Brotherhood-dominated presidency of Mohamed Morsi – until General, soon to be Field Marshal, Abdul Fattah al-Sisi staged a military coup, restored dictatorship and received – surprise, surprise – vast economic assistance from Saudi Arabia and the Emirates.

The hundreds of thousands of demonstrators who staged the revolution against Mubarak have either been killed, fled, gone to ground or been arrested by the Egyptian security services. So no wonder would-be Sudanese revolutionaries – even though they would see their role as mere protesters for democracy – are fearful that they will soon suffer the same fate, and that those generous Gulf monarchies are about to strike again with more support for Burhan and his unpleasant companion.

Sisi himself chaired an emergency session of the African Union which gave Burhan’s military council three more months to arrange its “handover” to civilian power. If the Saudis helped Sisi in Egypt with their immense wealth, why not Burhan? What was the $3bn for, other than to prop up Burhan’s own regime – brought to power by national protests over Sudan’s bankrupt economy.

Sudan, specifically militias led by the disreputable and extremely dangerous Dagolo – more than 10,000 men, some of them guilty of war crimes in Darfur – have been fighting for the Saudis against the Houthis in Yemen. And Dagolo, according to Al Jazeera, met the Saudi crown prince early in May and promised to support the kingdom against “all threats and attacks from Iran and Houthi militias”. He would continue, he allegedly promised, to send Sudanese forces to help Saudi Arabia in Yemen.

Burhan recruited many of the Sudanese who went to fight in Yemen – a large number of whom had been under Dagolo’s command. So is it any surprise that Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman would want to continue his relationship with Dagolo? Anything would be better than parliamentary democracy in Sudan – especially of the Muslim Brotherhood kind which ruled Egypt after Mubarak.

Amid this potential act of “backstabbery” towards the protesters, the US has found itself in an even more embarrassing situation than it did in Egypt. The then-secretary of state, Hilary Clinton, continued to support the fading Mubarak regime until Barack Obama finally decided that his days were numbered. Then he welcomed Mohamed Morsi – but didn’t know whether to call Sisi’s subsequent coup a coup. To his credit, John McCain immediately said that it was.

Now, save for vague suggestions from the Trump administration that it condemns violence in Sudan, there has been no serious policy statement on the massive upheaval in the country. The US wants democracy in Sudan – presumably, because that is what its own government supposedly stands for in all nations – but everyone knows that Trump, in his perverse view of the world, regards the Saudi crown prince as a trusted ally – despite the murder of Jamal Kashoggi – and Sisi as “a great guy”.

As one former US assistant secretary of state told Foreign Policy magazine: “The leaders and governments of Saudi Arabia, [the] UAE and Egypt do not share our fundamental democratic values, and their views on what should happen in Sudan diverge significantly from the policies the United States should be pursuing.”

The EU, naturally enough, is keen as mustard on democratic elections, but – though it does not say so – is rather worried that the old ruling party, with its political machinery still in place – might win. Either way, the Gulf states and Egypt don’t want democracy in Sudan.

Are they so powerful that they can ensure the revolution will fail? Or so frightened of the influence of a Sudanese democracy on their own autocracies that the revolution must fail? The heaps of corpses stacked up in Cairo after Sisi crushed Morsi and the Brotherhood, the beheading of Shiite militants in Saudi Arabia, the chopping-up of Jamal Kashoggi and the Nile-dumping of Sudanese protesters show clearly that the forces which want to crush any revolution in Sudan will brook no opposition.

Feature Photo | A protester wears a Sudanese flag in front of burning tires and debris on road 60, near Khartoum’s army headquarters, in Khartoum, Sudan, June 3, 2019. At least 13 people have been killed Monday in the military’s assault on the sit-in outside the military headquarters in the capital, Khartoum. The protesters have announced they are suspending talks with the military regarding the creation of a transitional government. Photo | AP

Robert Fisk is the multi-award winning Middle East correspondent of The Independent, based in Beirut. He has lived in the Arab world for more than 40 years, covering Lebanon, five Israeli invasions, the Iran-Iraq war, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the Algerian civil war, Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait, the Bosnian and Kosovo wars, the American invasion and occupation of Iraq and the 2011 Arab revolutions.

Source | The Independent

The post Robert Fisk: Sudan Protesters Were Right to Fear the Arrival of Saudi and UAE Money appeared first on MintPress News.

Source: 
MintPress

Dear friends of this aggregator

  • Yes, I intentionally removed Newsbud from the aggregator on Mar 22.
  • Newsbud did not block the aggregator, although their editor blocked me on twitter after a comment I made to her
  • As far as I know, the only site that blocks this aggregator is Global Research. I have no idea why!!
  • Please stop recommending Newsbud and Global Research to be added to the aggregator.

Support this site

News Sources

Source Items
WWI Hidden History 51
Grayzone Project 331
Pass Blue 301
Dilyana Gaytandzhieva 16
John Pilger 423
The Real News 367
Scrutinised Minds 29
Need To Know News 3058
FEE 5131
Marine Le Pen 396
Francois Asselineau 25
Opassande 53
HAX on 5July 220
Henrik Alexandersson 1118
Mohamed Omar 403
Professors Blog 10
Arg Blatte Talar 40
Angry Foreigner 18
Fritte Fritzson 12
Teologiska rummet 32
Filosofiska rummet 132
Vetenskapsradion Historia 180
Snedtänkt (Kalle Lind) 244
Les Crises 3328
Richard Falk 199
Ian Sinclair 125
SpinWatch 61
Counter Currents 11182
Kafila 566
Gail Malone 42
Transnational Foundation 221
Rick Falkvinge 95
The Duran 10624
Vanessa Beeley 187
Nina Kouprianova 9
MintPress 5867
Paul Craig Roberts 2238
News Junkie Post 60
Nomi Prins 27
Kurt Nimmo 191
Strategic Culture 5650
Sir Ken Robinson 25
Stephan Kinsella 108
Liberty Blitzkrieg 874
Sami Bedouin 65
Consortium News 2685
21 Century Wire 3902
Burning Blogger 324
Stephen Gowans 97
David D. Friedman 159
Anarchist Standard 16
The BRICS Post 1531
Tom Dispatch 587
Levant Report 18
The Saker 4819
The Barnes Review 567
John Friend 513
Psyche Truth 160
Jonathan Cook 162
New Eastern Outlook 4606
School Sucks Project 1799
Giza Death Star 2074
Andrew Gavin Marshall 15
Red Ice Radio 650
GMWatch 2499
Robert Faurisson 150
Espionage History Archive 35
Jay's Analysis 1100
Le 4ème singe 90
Jacob Cohen 217
Agora Vox 18018
Cercle Des Volontaires 447
Panamza 2442
Fairewinds 118
Project Censored 1084
Spy Culture 597
Conspiracy Archive 81
Crystal Clark 11
Timothy Kelly 615
PINAC 1482
The Conscious Resistance 945
Independent Science News 86
The Anti Media 6876
Positive News 820
Brandon Martinez 30
Steven Chovanec 61
Lionel 305
The Mind renewed 454
Natural Society 2627
Yanis Varoufakis 1065
Tragedy & Hope 122
Dr. Tim Ball 114
Web of Debt 159
Porkins Policy Review 450
Conspiracy Watch 174
Eva Bartlett 634
Libyan War Truth 357
DeadLine Live 1916
Kevin Ryan 66
BSNEWS 2106
Aaron Franz 259
Traces of Reality 166
Revelations Radio News 121
Dr. Bruce Levine 155
Peter B Collins 1705
Faux Capitalism 205
Dissident Voice 11488
Climate Audit 226
Donna Laframboise 488
Judith Curry 1166
Geneva Business Insider 40
Media Monarchy 2590
Syria Report 78
Human Rights Investigation 93
Intifada (Voice of Palestine) 1685
Down With Tyranny 12990
Laura Wells Solutions 46
Video Rebel's Blog 458
Revisionist Review 485
Aletho News 22077
ضد العولمة 27
Penny for your thoughts 3224
Northerntruthseeker 2622
كساريات 37
Color Revolutions and Geopolitics 27
Stop Nato 4834
AntiWar.com Blog 3327
AntiWar.com Original Content 7421
Corbett Report 2540
Stop Imperialism 491
Land Destroyer 1259
Webster Tarpley Website 1143

Compiled Feeds

Public Lists

Title Visibility
Funny Public