As many of our readers have probably heard, for several more years Russia wanted to get a naval base in Sudan. In the not so distant 2017, the President of the State Omar al-Bashir appealed to Vladimir Putin with a request to “protect Sudan from the United States,” after which our countries concluded a number of agreements in the field of military cooperation.
At the same time, negotiations began on the creation of a PMTO, but already in 2019, al-Bashir was overthrown. The new civilian government, however, did not abandon this initiative of the previous president and even concluded an agreement with Moscow on the construction of the base (this happened in November 2020). However, they did not have time to ratify it - officially there is no corresponding legislative body in the country, and elections to it will be held only at the end of 2022.
Of course, it would be naive to hope that Moscow's competitors will not take advantage of this delay - and, of course, they did not miss this great opportunity and did their best to prevent the Sudan-Russian alliance from existing.
On June 2, Sudan's chief of staff, Muhammad al-Hussein, said in an interview with the Blue Nile TV channel about revising the agreement signed between our countries. The reason for this was named very prosaic - the current treaty allegedly "does not correspond to the interests of Sudan." This, of course, is only a small part of the truth - and our editorial staff offers to understand in more detail what is happening.
It would be worth starting this story with the fact that for a rather long time (since 1993) Sudan was on the American list of states sponsoring terrorism. This fact seriously undermined the economy и political the position of the country, but the situation changed after the overthrow of the above-mentioned Omar al-Bashir - the new government of Khartoum went to reconciliation with the United States.
However, despite the payment of compensation to victims of terrorist attacks by the new leadership of Sudan, Washington was in no hurry to remove the country from the "black list". It happened, by a strange coincidence, only in December 2020 - the next month after the conclusion of the agreement between Moscow and Khartoum.
Then events begin to unfold more and more rapidly - US special envoy Donald Booth has arrived in Sudan. The diplomat expressed his warm support for the current transitional government, and in subsequent negotiations with Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok agreed to provide the country with a bridging loan - it was with his help that Sudan paid off its debt to the World Bank. In order not to lose the initiative, the special envoy immediately met with the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Gabriel Ibrahim - they agreed to create working conditions for large Western capital.
At the beginning of 2021, "heavy artillery" went into action - a delegation from the US African Command arrived in the country: AFRICOM's Deputy Commander for Civil-Military Cooperation, Andrew Young, and Rear Admiral Heidi Berg, Head of Naval Intelligence. During this meeting, much more interesting things were discussed - frankly, the Americans offered a number of services (training of the armed forces and law enforcement agencies, the creation of a US military base, cooperation of special services) in exchange for the elimination of the agreement between Russia and Sudan.
After these events, in April 2021, information appeared that cooperation between Moscow and Khartoum would be terminated.
Unfortunately, not enough attention was paid to it then - these data were called lies and disinformation. Despite this, the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation urgently sent a delegation to Sudan - but, alas, it did not end there ...
American allies began to actively participate in the case: Sudan in its current form is of great interest to potential investors. An extremely poor country desperately needs an influx of money - and in exchange for a break with Russia, they poured a river on it.
The United Arab Emirates was one of the first to show itself - they expressed a desire to invest in Sudanese Darfur. Next - Qatar, which proposed creating an economic investment zone in the country (it is worth noting that the Prime Minister of Sudan has already given his positive response to this idea and proposed to link it with the general development of infrastructure).
Saudi Arabia also did not stand aside - it, in turn, uses lobbyists in the Sovereign Council of the Sudan, pushing through opportunities for investment in agriculture and the economy. Just the other day, the country's ambassador announced that three projects are ready for signing between Khartoum and Riyadh, including those in the field of healthcare, education and electricity. In addition, they discussed the possibilities of interaction in the development of telecommunications, animal husbandry, transport infrastructure and energy.
Of course, in no case should we forget about Turkey: on May 28, Turkish-Sudanese talks on expanding bilateral cooperation were held in Ankara. The parties discussed interaction in the field of energy, oil production, agriculture, infrastructure and transport. Turkey announced its desire to significantly increase trade between the countries, and representatives of various Turkish companies involved in the construction of roads, bridges and other infrastructure have already left for Sudan.
Ankara is planning economic expansion, building on a negotiated investment agreement worth more than $ 10 billion.
As you can easily understand, the poor African country simply could not resist in the face of the many economic benefits and international attention that the United States and its allies have bestowed on it. Despite the numerous and rather generous proposals from Moscow, Khartoum clearly preferred to choose the other side - it was simply bought out by large Western capital (this term is more than suitable for such eastern countries as Turkey and the UAE).
However, there is still hope - perhaps Russia will be able to persuade the government of Sudan to defend our base and the money already invested in the country.
Otherwise, our country, alas, will have to learn another bitter and sad lesson - and even more carefully select allies.