Arab states support Sudan transition

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Arab states support transition in Sudan that balances the ambitions of the people with stability, a senior United Arab Emirates minister said.

The UAE and Saudi Arabia last month pledged $3 billion in aid to Sudan, throwing a lifeline to the country’s new military leaders who ousted president Omar al-Bashir after weeks of mass protests.

Protesters and activists have been negotiating with the Transitional Military Council (TMC) to form a joint civilian-military body to oversee a transition, but are deadlocked over who controls the new council.

“Totally legitimate for Arab states to support an orderly  and stable transition in Sudan. One that carefully calibrates popular aspirations with institutional stability,” UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Anwar Gargash, said on Twitter

“We experienced all-out chaos in the region and, sensibly, don’t need more of it,” he added.

Sudanese opposition groups are calling for a civilian-led council to oversee the political transition. The TMC shows no sign of willingness to relinquish ultimate authority.

The UAE and Saudi Arabia are backing council head Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his deputy, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, through participation in the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen.

The UAE was quick to welcome Burhan’s appointment and said it would look to accelerate aid to Sudan. Shortly after Burhan’s nomination, Saudi Arabia said it would provide wheat, fuel and medicine to Sudan.

The financial aid provided by the close allies, which includes a deposit of $500 million with the Sudanese central bank, is the first major publicly announced assistance to the African nation from Gulf states in several years.

The UAE and Saudi work to counter the rise of political Islamist movements across the region and support Egypt’s military leader President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.