Crisis in Sudan-Israel normalization

Israelis should know that in Islamic terrorism there is only one objective: to vanquish permanent enemies through jihad.

Protestors tear down a picture of Lt.-Gen. Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan Abdelrahman minutes after it was hung on a bridge in Khartoum, Sudan, in April 2019. (photo credit: UMIT BEKTAS / REUTERS)
Protestors tear down a picture of Lt.-Gen. Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan Abdelrahman minutes after it was hung on a bridge in Khartoum, Sudan, in April 2019.
(photo credit: UMIT BEKTAS / REUTERS)
Many governments, especially in the western world, including Israel, ignored international legal and human rights prosecutions when it came to dealing with Sudan. Israel is not a signatory of the Treaty of Rome that established the International Criminal Court.
While the US lifted 20 years of economic sanctions against Sudan in 2017, it has yet to lift Sudan’s designation as a foreign state supporter of terrorism. This, despite efforts to settle claims arising from Sudan’s support of al-Qaeda bombing attacks on US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998.
In Israel’s case there is the history of Sudan’s support for the Islamic Republic of Iran transferring weapons to the terrorist groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza. Now Israel and Sudan are engaged in discussions about possible normalization, given the dramatic announcement of the Abraham Accords between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. One of the alleged motivations by Israel’s national emergency coalition government headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is repatriation of an estimated 31,000 Sudanese “infiltrators.”
This alleged push by Israel for normalization with Sudan is in the myopic belief that geopolitical changes in the Arab Middle East also can be applied to the Sudan, and that it is in the interests of Israel to pursue normalization with the Transitional Sovereignty Council (TSC) government of Sudan in Khartoum. The reality is that the jihad campaigns waged against Sudan’s indigenous peoples following the military coup and jailing of long-term dictator former president Omar Bashir in April 2019 have not ended. Nor has Bashir been remanded over for prosecution given outstanding International Criminal Court indictments issued in both 2009 and 2010.
In international politics, there is no permanent enemy but only permanent interests. However, Israelis should know that in Islamic terrorism there is only one objective: to vanquish permanent enemies through jihad.
The ruling Transitional Military Council leaders of the TSC in Khartoum were colleagues of Bashir, transferring weapons to Gaza to kill Israelis. They also harbored the late al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden. Moreover, they were allies of Israel’s mortal enemy until 2015, The Islamic Republic of Iran.
Today, because the TSC regime desperately wants to lift the US State Department designation as a “foreign terrorist organization,” it is seeking normalization of relations with Israel in the vain hope that Jerusalem’s relations with the Trump administration might be useful. Ironically, Khartoum was the venue for the Arab League resolution on September 1, 1967, of the “three No’s” following the June 1967 Israeli victory: “no to peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, and no negotiations with Israel.”
The chairman of the Khartoum Transitional Sovereignty Council, Gen. Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman al-Burhan, and Deputy Chairman Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo (Hemeti), command the Rapid Support Force/Janjaweed militias in Darfur. They were perpetrators of Bashir’s National Congress Party Islamist genocidal ethnic cleansing, and commission of war crimes against the indigenous peoples of Darfur, the Nuba Mountains and the Blue Nile region.
Their goal is the same one established in the secret Arab Coalition Plan found in the cab of a captured Janjaweed pickup truck in 2014 that was to be perfected in 2020. That objective is still the Arabization of indigenous peoples’ regions in Sudan through jihad conducted by the infamous Rapid Support Force/Janjaweed militias. They are relentlessly engaged in killing and expropriating indigenous peoples’ villages, farms, cattle and fruit plantations, replacing them with settlers from foreign Arab tribes and terrorist groups.
INDICATIONS OF that were seen in recent attacks by the RSF/Janjaweed militias in northern, western and southern Darfur, resulting in the deaths of more than 300 people, and displacement of thousands to United Nations–African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) camps in 2020. The toll since 2003 has been more than 600,000 killed and over five million internally displaced persons to insecure UNAMID camps, with several hundred thousand fleeing to UN Refugee Camps in adjacent countries.
Gen. Burhan created the Rapid Support Force/Janjaweed militias in Darfur, and continues to direct and support them to this day. He began operating in 1999 when he was a lieutenant working as assistant to Lt.-Gen. Mohamed Ahmed Mustafa al-Dabi. Dabi was a Sudanese military intelligence officer who also served as head of the Arab League Observer Mission in Syria from December 2011 to February 2012. Both men were sent by the Khartoum regime to el-Geneina west Darfur region with impunity to organize and arm Arab tribal groups that became the core of the Rapid Support Force/Janjaweed militias
In 2016, military operations conducted in Jebel Marra in Darfur, the Sudan regime was accused of using chemical weapons against indigenous peoples. The overall commander in charge was Gen. Burhan assisted by Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dogolo (Hemeti). This was the time Burhan wrote that he is the “God of Fur.” (Fur is a name of one of the largest ethnic group in Darfur inhabiting Jebel Marra). Burhan was directly engaged in committing genocide, war crimes and human rights abuses in Darfur.
The Transitional Sovereignty Council (TSC) regime is composed of multiple and fragmented Nile elite political groups. Their main objective is to control the government while pursuing personal gains. The TSC is dominated by the Transitional Military Council.
Other TSC members include the Forces of Freedom and Change Coalition, the Sudanese Professional Association, and Sudan’s traditional Islamist political parties that have held sway over the country since independence. The TSC government with these multiple fragmented organizations, having their own conflicting views, will not last long.
That is why Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ambassador Haider Badawi Sadiq was caught between the conflicting interests of the TSC. Effectively, TMC Chairman Burhan and Deputy Hemeti and the traditional political parties hijacked the December 2018 revolution protests in the streets of Khartoum and major cities of Sudan calling for the end of the Bashir regime.
The Sudan Foreign Ministry categorically denied normalization discussions were held between Israel and Sudanese officials, and accused Sadiq of jumping to the wrong conclusion. What Sadiq said might have been truthful, but because of internal government conflicts, Sadiq lost and was dismissed.
The Sudan TSC regime hopes to normalize relations despite evidence that the regime is perpetrating jihad war crimes against indigenous peoples. The Israeli government should avoid supporting Sudan’s “deep state,” represented by war criminals such as Burhan and Hemeti, with their hands saturated with the blood of innocent people.
Instead, Israel should stand with the oppressed indigenous people of Sudan and help them achieve their aspirations. That would establish a true and genuine relationship with the people of Sudan.
Lt. Gen. Abakar M. Abdallah is chairman of the Sudan United Movement. He is a native of Kutum, North Darfur, who served as a senior intelligence officer, and a Pan Sahel Counterterrorism unit commander in the Republic of Chad Army. He is a graduate of the US Army Intelligence and Security School and the US Army War College, and co-author of Genocide in Sudan: Caliphate Threatens Africa and the World.

Jerry Gordon is a senior editor at the
New English Review, co-author of Genocide in Sudan and producer/co-host at Israel News Talk Radio for Beyond the Matrix.