Sudan: U.S. Africa Command’s No. 2 visiting the country

This is a new step in the rapprochement between the United States and Sudan. The second in command of the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), Andrew Young, arrived in Khartoum yesterday for a two-day visit. The visit comes after the lifting of U.S. sanctions and the removal of Sudan from the list of countries supporting terrorism. It has a high symbolic value.
This is a first since the creation of AFRICOM, which coordinates U.S. military and security activities on the continent. For Cameron Hudson, a researcher at the Atlantic Council, Young’s visit is of strategic importance to the United States.
“Washington realizes that it is lagging behind in its cooperation with Sudan. For example, in November Russia announced the creation of a naval base on the Red Sea. Washington must realize that if it does not act quickly, Sudan is on the way to becoming closer to other international actors: China, Russia, the Gulf countries. So Washington is trying to preserve its own influence in Khartoum. »
On the menu of discussions: security cooperation, withdrawal of the UN mission in Darfur but also a more political aspect, American support for the transition process.
“Washington is closely involved in the issue of restructuring the Sudanese armed forces. Whether or not they are ready to reform. If the military is just preparing to return to power, Washington will need to adjust its strategy to support and strengthen the civilian parts of the government and perhaps consider reducing the military’s weight in the government».
While the meeting was long overdue, the analyst said the visit also marks the first steps in Sudan for Joe Biden’s new administration.
It should be noted that as part of the process of normalization of relations between Sudan and Israel sponsored by former President Donald Trump, for the first time an Israeli minister visited Khartoum on Monday. The Israeli Intelligence Minister, Eli Cohen, met with the head of the Sovereign Council, General Abdelfattah al-Burhane, and the Sudanese Defense Minister on “the deepening of their cooperation in the field of intelligence” announced Tuesday the Israeli authorities.