Abdel-Fattah Burhan is seen as an insider with UAE and Egypt

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Media Observer: On 25 October, General Abdel-Fattah Burhan swept away the vestiges of Sudan’s civilian government. He dissolved the Sovereign Council and the transitional government, detained Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and other officials, and declared a state of emergency.

The takeover came weeks before Burhan was scheduled to be replaced by a civilian as head of the council.

The general has vowed to usher the country to an elected government, but the powerful Gulf allies of Burhan indicate the intentions of keeping the military firmly in control.

He has been backed by Egypt, and other Gulf nations, particularly the UAE. Burhan trained in Egypt’s military college and has made multiple visits to the Emirates’ de-facto ruler, Abu Dhabi crown prince Sheikh MbZ since 2019.

During his recent appearances, Burhan has posed in front of Egyptian flags, nothing strange about it. If you are an Egyptian – and not a high representative of another country. There is also information to suggest that he is in Egypt, and make short executive visits to Sudan.

Official symbolism is important. What if, Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud would make his official statements in front of Israeli flags.

Emirati Alignment Towards Military Leaders

This is not the first time that the Emirati alignment is towards a military leader.

For years, the UAE has been criticized for backing Khalifa Haftar, the Libyan National Army head who plays leading role in the Second Libyan Civil War.

According to the Guardian, Egypt’s Sisi openly displays unequivocal support for Haftar bombarding Tripoli. He also receives private support by the leaders of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates for the assault on Tripoli. Three civil lawsuits have been filed against Haftar in U.S. federal court. Including suits accusing him of war crimes, torture, and other human rights violations.

Along with Egypt, the UAE has also avoided criticizing the Sudan coup, calling instead for calm and dialogue.

Cameron Hudson, a former U.S. State Department official and Sudan expert at the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center, said: “There’s a general preference for a strong military leader who is very transactional. That fits Gulf interests more than a democratic government.”

The Emirati support for Abdel-Fattah Burhan gives flashes of how it violated the human rights in Libya to attain its personal benefits.

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