According to a report from Axios, Sudan’s new leader General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, who seized power Monday, told the US of the military’s plans to take control of the government a day before the coup.
Jeffrey Feltman, the US special envoy for the Horn of Africa, met with al-Burhan on Sunday, and the Sudanese general said the military might take control of the government from former Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok.
On Monday, Feltman met with both al-Burahn and Hamdock to discuss tensions between Sudan’s civilian leadership and the military. Just hours after the meeting, the military seized power.
In response to the coup, the US has condemned the move and suspended $700 million in financial aid for Sudan. Last year, the US agreed to provide assistance to Sudan after the Trump administration removed Sudan from the state sponsor of terrorism list.
As part of the deal, Sudan agreed to pay $335 million in compensation to victims of the 1998 US embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania that were carried out by al-Qaeda even though Osama bin Laden was not living in Sudan at the time of the attacks. In response to the embassy bombings, the US destroyed a pharmaceutical factory in Sudan.
The US began discussing removing Sudan from the terror list after Omar al-Bashir, who ruled the country since 1993, was ousted by a coup in 2019. The Trump administration added normalization with Israel as a last-minute condition. Sudan agreed to the normalization, but many political forces in the country are opposed to the idea, and Khartoum has not officially opened diplomatic relations in Israel.
An unnamed Israeli official told Israel Hayom that the latest coup in Sudan is good news for the normalization effort. The official said al-Burhan was more likely to strengthen ties with Israel than Hamdock.