Sudan is witnessing a heated race between Gulf rivals, who are using their financial means to influence the country’s future, according to analysts.
The race is manifested in financial aid and investments by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in one hand and Qatar on the other in an effort to gain a foothold in Sudan after the ouster of long-serving President Omar al-Bashir.
“Sudan is very important to both Gulf camps,” Abdul Moniem Abu Idriss, an expert on the Horn of Africa affairs, told Anadolu Agency.
He said Gulf countries are seeking to have a role in Sudan – a Horn of Africa nation – as part of their effort to dominate the main route of international trade in the area.
Iran too, he said, is interested in Sudan “after it lost its influence in the wake of al-Bashir’s ouster and wants to get back to the scene in Sudan, as well as China and others”.
Abu Idriss believes that Sudan’s Transitional Military Council (TMC), which took over from al-Bashir, is seeking to build strong relations with the Saudi camp.
“Sudan’s new rulers have received $3 billion from Saudi Arabia and UAE and they are still sending more forces to fight alongside the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen against Houthi rebels,” he said.
Last month, the TMC signed a power-sharing deal with the opposition Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) alliance to end months of political turmoil since al-Bashir’s overthrow in April.