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Qatar welcomes Sudan’s Sovereign Council

The State of Qatar has welcomed the formulation of a Joint Military-Civilian Sovereign Council in Sudan for a transition period until elections. The agreement has ended weeks of clashes between the TMC and pro-democracy demonstrators, resulting in numerous violent events and a complete media blackout.

Qatar

News Desk |

The Qatari State has welcomed the formation of a joint sovereign council in Sudan, Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported in a statement on Friday.

The statement expressed Qatar’s satisfaction over a peaceful political agreement between the two parties of Sudan, ending weeks of political deadlock.

The statement also commended the role played by the African Union in its mediation efforts to resolve the conflict between the Sudanese parties and also expressed deep gratitude to all those involved for their positive participation.

The TMC is known to have Generals backed by the Saudi-Emirati-Egyptian bloc that has also imposed a two year long economic blockade and political boycott on Qatar. 

Foreign Ministry’s statement also reaffirmed Qatar’s support to the “brotherly Sudanese people” in their cause of freedom, justice, peace and democracy.

Joint Military-Civilian Sovereign Council of Sudan

The agreement is said to have created a coalition between the opposition parties, protest groups and the Sudanese military leadership. All sides have agreed on establishing a joint military-civilian council that is expected to rule Sudan for the next three years or more.

Mohamed Hassan Lebatt, a mediator from the African Union (AU), in a press conference held on Friday, stated that the agreement will allow five seats to the Transitional Military Council (TMC) and five to civilian leaders both from the opposition and protester groups.

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Both sides have also agreed to probe into the events that took place on June 3, including violence, rapes, harassment and murders of pro-democracy demonstrators during a military crack-down on a protest camp in Khartoum.

Al-Jazeera Media Network Closure in Sudan

In May, amid pro-democracy demonstrations in the capital of Sudan, the TMC had ordered to shut down Al-Jazeera Media Network operating in Khartoum stating no reasons for the closure orders.

The following day Al Jazeera predictably condemned the move as “an attack on media freedom, professional journalism, and the basic tenets of the right for people to know and understand the reality of what is happening in Sudan.”

The orders to shut down Al-Jazeera came after a statement from the spokesman of the TMC had stated that the council was planning to pursue a legal action against “unruly elements” operating within the protest camps in the capital territory.

Qatar’s economic and political resilience has been a major concern for the blockading nations, giving them another reason to curtail Qatari influence in Sudan.

The TMC is known to have Generals backed by the Saudi-Emirati-Egyptian bloc that has also imposed a two year long economic blockade and political boycott on Qatar.

Much like the revolutions that jolted the Arab world in 2011, Al Jazeera was a factor in the events that began in December 2018 and eventually led to longtime Sudanese autocrat, Omar Al-Bashir’s arrest at the hands of a military junta. Although Doha was a close ally of Bashir’s government, the Qatari satellite channel closely covered the protests against his authoritarian rule and aired opinions of Sudanese citizens demanding democratic and revolutionary change.

The Al-Jazeera news network in Arabic and English language is known to have shaken the media discourse in the Middle East since 1996.

Attacking Qatar in Sudan

If the situation is viewed from a geo-political lens, it is clear that the Saudi-dominated bloc that has been counter-revolutionary since the beginning of the Arab Spring in 2011.

Contrary to expectations, Doha’s two-year blockade has not led to any major changes in the Qatari economy and foreign relations in the Arab world and abroad. Qatar’s economic and political resilience has been a major concern for the blockading nations, giving them another reason to curtail Qatari influence in Sudan.

Read more: Qatar pledges to remain at the forefront of the Palestinian cause

Moreover, Sudan’s refusal to join the anti-Qatar bandwagon during Bashir’s rule is now an opportunity for the blockading countries to use loyal TMC leaders against Qatar’s dominance in the Arab world.

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