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Sudan’s military leader turns to UAE to shore up authority

Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan made his first official visit to Abu Dhabi mainly a search for economic assistance, but the dubious outcome of his trip has sparked controversy at home.
South Sudan's President Salva Kiir (2nd R) walks with Sudan's Sovereign Council Chief Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan (2nd L).

Dressed in a suit and tie, Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, leader of Sudan’s October coup and head of the contested Sovereign Council that runs the country, landed back in Khartoum on March 13 after his first publicly announced official trip — a four-day visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) — since taking power. He was accompanied by a delegation comprised of, among others, Minister of Finance Gebreil Ibrahim, Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali Al Sadiq, and director of General Intelligence Services Ahmed Ibrahim Ali Mufaddal.

At a press conference held as soon as they arrived at Khartoum International Airport, Sadiq said that during his trip, Burhan addressed with Emirati officials the current situation in Sudan, which is marked by severe instability, and the efforts to consolidate its authority. More importantly, the visit served to discuss an array of topics of common interest, with a special emphasis on economic cooperation — which the acting foreign minister admitted represents their main focus of attention at the moment.

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