Why was the Mossad meeting with the coup leaders in Sudan? – analysis

What was the Mossad doing in Sudan last week just as the latest coup in Sudan was unfolding?

The answer is that no one knows for sure, but there are plenty of leads to informed speculation.

First, the Mossad visit did not come out of nowhere.

Although some sources indicate that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has assumed a greater role in relations between Israel and Sudan since the current government was formed in mid-June, the wave of normalization between the countries was accumulated by Mossad, with the later help of the old national security. the head of the council Meir Ben-Shabat.

Just after the new government of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid took power in mid-June, news broke that senior Sudanese civil servants were complaining to both the Israeli government and US government officials. for uncoordinated Mossad contacts with Sudanese military officials.

Would a government of Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid really be a possible left-wing disaster? (credit: MIRIAM ALSTER)

The Jerusalem Post He learned that the secondary contacts were part of an ongoing rivalry between the Mossad and Ben-Shabat for influence with the power centers in Sudan.

Until last week, there were at least three key figures currently in Sudan.

Ben-Shabat had been dealing more directly with General Abdel Fatah al-Burhan, chairman of Sudan’s governing council, who is leading the current coup.

In the past, Mossad’s Yossi Cohen, who retired as director on June 1, had ties to Burhan and helped organize a key meeting between former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Burhan.

But at some point, the Post understands that Cohen began working more directly through the recently deposed Sudanese prime minister, Abdalla Hamdok.

Under Cohen, and there are signs also under Cohen’s successor, current Mossad director David Barnea, the Mossad has also operated links with General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, also known as Hemetti.

Technically, Hemetti is Burhan’s deputy and his co-star in the heist against Hamdok.

However, that is only on a formal level.

Beneath the formalities, Hemetti may be the true power in Sudan, as he controls the largest and most powerful military force – an experienced militia that far outshines the country’s military.

Many regard Hemetti as the true figure who toppled the country’s 25-year-old former dictator, Omar al-Bashir, in 2019.

Additionally, Hemetti has carefully stayed out of the limelight during the current hit, potentially positioning himself to knock Burhan down if the opening hit goes sideways.

The blow didn’t come out of nowhere either.

There was a failed coup last month, allegedly by Bashir supporters in the military.

AFTER THAT failed coup, it appeared that Hamdok began to undertake a broader political counterattack against the army leading to this time period in which Burhan had to hand over more authorities to him.

So the latest blow seems to be that Burhan lost patience with Hamdok and his desire to frame the next phase of elections and democratic transition, if in fact he is willing to resign from the military government in 2023 as he puts it.

So a question both in June and during last week’s visit is whether Mossad is playing its cards carefully and flexibly for Israel in case Hemetti takes over at some point or if the past Ben-Shabbat-Mossad rivalry it’s being replaced by some kind of Mossad. -Rivalry between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Neither the Prime Minister’s Office nor the Foreign Ministry wanted to comment on the minutes, but the Post learned that the Foreign Ministry is more in the picture than under Netanyahu.

Furthermore, Israeli officials under Netanyahu were aware of the mix of Israeli and Sudanese rivalries, and some in Jerusalem even received a response from the Sudanese on the matter.

After all this fascinating study of rivalries, the new question now, unlike in June, is whether Israel really needs to take sides.

Should it be Burhan or Hemetti who may be more committed to normalizing with Israel, especially if the Jewish state can help with relations with Washington?

Or should Israel side with Hamdok, like many of the world’s democracies, even though it seems to have been more hesitant about relations with Israel?

Some Israeli officials feel that Jerusalem cannot be seen as undermining Sudan’s democratic processes and transitions, regardless of other considerations.

But leaks that the last meeting was with Hemetti or his brother and that their camp had recently visited Israel could be a sign of which way Jerusalem is leaning. There are mixed reports on whether Israeli officials also met with Hamdok.

Furthermore, Israel has not condemned the coup as most democratic countries have.

Another narrative is that Israel will not choose sides, but simply wanted to keep its eyes on the ground to get an up-to-date view of the terrain, so that it can continue to play as many sides as necessary to keep normalization on track.

Regardless of which direction Israel chooses, there are serious pitfalls and booby traps along the way, and whether it’s Mossad or the Foreign Ministry, it will take a master aerialist to avoid falling.


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