September 28, 2022
The US ambassador to Sudan has warned of consequences if the northeast African country allows the establishment of a Russian military base on the Red Sea coast.
In an interview with the Tayyar newspaper, John Godfrey said “there are some reports that Russia is trying to implement the agreement it signed with ousted President Omar al-Bashir in 2017 to establish a military base along the Red Sea.”
He warned that such a move will isolate Sudan from the international community and undermine the country’s interests.
“All countries have a sovereign right to decide which other countries to partner with, but these choices have consequences, of course,” Godfrey said.
What consequences, I wonder? It sounds a little like the warnings to Germany about Nordstream coming online, and we know how that ended up.
February 11, 2023
Sudan’s ruling military concluded a review of an agreement with Russia to build a navy base on the Red Sea in the African country, two Sudanese officials said Saturday.
They said the deal was awaiting the formation of a civilian government and a legislative body to be ratified before it takes effect. The officials said Moscow met Sudan’s most recent demands, including providing more weapons and equipment.
“They cleared all our concerns. The deal has become OK from the military side,” one official said.
The agreement allows Russia to set up a naval base with up to 300 Russian troops, and to simultaneously keep up to four navy ships, including nuclear-powered ones, in the strategic Port Sudan on the Red Sea.
The base would ensure the Russian navy’s presence in the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean and spare its ships the need for long voyages to reach the area, according to Viktor Bondarev, the former Russian air force chief.
In exchange, Russia is to provide Sudan with weapons and military equipment. The agreement is to last for 25 years, with automatic extensions for 10-year periods if neither side objects.
“If any country wants to open a base and it is in our interests and doesn’t threaten our national security, we have no problem in dealing with anyone, Russian or otherwise,” he said.
Sounds like a clear violation of the US’s right to have only its own warships in the area.
April 11, 2023
U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken urged the head of the military-led Sovereign Council to expedite efforts to end the current political crisis and pave the way for the formation of a civilian government.
“Blinken reassured that the United States stands in support of Sudan’s political process and vowed to assist in overcoming the hurdles that hinder the country’s progress.” added the statement.
What kind of assistance would that be, if the hurdles happen to be of the Sudan government’s own choice?
April 15, 2023
At least 56 people have been killed and 595 injured following ongoing clashes between Sudan’s army and paramilitary forces.
A new deal signed late last year was supposed to pave the way to democratic elections, but Saturday’s violence erupted following weeks of escalating tensions.
Yassir Abdullah, managing editor of the Al-Sudani newspaper, warned the country was heading for “all-out civil war”.
US ambassador to Sudan, John Godfrey, said he and his embassy staff were sheltering in place as heavy firing was heard in a number of areas.
US secretary of state Antony Blinken described the situation as “fragile”, while EU foreign policy chief Joseph Borrell called on all forces to stop the violence.
Who would have thought a civil war would kick off just after Blinken’s words of support? Sounds like both sides are the bad guys – perhaps the only answer is external intervention?
April 18, 2023
“I can confirm that yesterday we had an American diplomatic convoy that was fired on,” Anthony Blinken told reporters during a trip to Japan. “All of our people are safe and unharmed, but this action was reckless, it was irresponsible and, of course, unsafe. A diplomatic convoy with diplomatic plates, a U.S. flag being fired upon.”
No details of perpetrators, motives or why nobody was hurt. Nor why Americans alone were targeted. But we know Blinken’s reputation for truth-telling, so we must accept his word.
April 18, 2023
The US State Department establishes a special task force to deal with the Sudan crisis. It aims to impose sanctions to stop the fighting on both sides.
EJ Hogendoorn, who formerly served at the State Department as senior adviser to the US Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, told CNN that “unless there is a more decisive intervention by international partners,” he is concerned that a “Syria-like scenario” could develop in Sudan “where different armed factions seize control over different parts of the country.”
“And it becomes very, very challenging to put the country back together or even to deliver sustained assistance to people who are just pawns in this struggle between these two generals,” he said.
A “decisive intervention” is necessary, then. Ah – so it’s America’s job to put the country back together, like they have in Syria.
April 23, 2023
US prepares to send “a large number of troops” to Djibouti (one of the approximately 800 US military bases across the world) to “aid US evacuation.”
White House spokesperson John Kirby said President Joe Biden ordered the pre-positioning of military forces to be ready, adding he was closely following developments.
Kirby said there are no indications Americans are being targeted but it was a dangerous situation in Sudan.
How many troops are needed to evacuate a diplomatic presence that is not being targeted? I just wonder if some evil provocation might necessitate a full military occupation, air-strikes, regime change, and a few decades and trillions of dollars spent on “establishing democracy” – ie, establishing US hegemony in Africa after the failures on Libya and Syria? It would, of course, be ridiculous to suggest that America has stirred up this civil war for that very purpose. And they definitely wouldn’t provoke a civil war to stop the Russians getting a base on the Red Sea.