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Israel's security chiefs split on supporting Sudan’s Burhan, Hemedti

Israel is engaged in efforts to de-escalate tensions in Sudan, but its security and diplomatic leaderships are split between the two fighting camps.
This combination of pictures created on April 18, 2023 shows Sudan's army chief, Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan (L), in Juba on Oct. 14, 2019, and Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo (R), who commands the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, addressing the media upon his return from Russia at Khartoum airport on March 2, 2022.

The director general of Israel’s Foreign Ministry, Ronen Levy, confirmed Thursday that Jerusalem is involved in international efforts to de-escalate the current conflict in Sudan and is in contact with both fighting camps. 

Interviewed by Israel’s public broadcaster KAN, Levy said Israel will pursue an end to the current unrest and the normalization of diplomatic relations. "Everyone is making efforts to get Sudan back on track. We are not giving up on normalization. The Americans are involved, and we are assisting vis-a-vis both sides. We are helping to exert direct pressure to bring about calm and an end to the war," he said. 

Indeed, despite its domestic turmoil and the deterioration of its international standing, Israel currently finds itself in the role of the responsible adult at least in one arena — the escalating fighting between loyalists of Sudan’s leader Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and the powerful Rapid Support Forces (RFS) militia led by his former deputy Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, aka Hemedti.

The fighting has dashed Israeli hopes to rapidly complete the formal signing of an agreement it reached with Sudan in 2020 on normalizing diplomatic relations with the Muslim nation. While finalizing the agreement appears highly unlikely for the moment, given the fighting, Israel has turned its hand to mediation efforts between the warring sides to help advance the African country’s stalled transition from military rule to democracy.

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