Local sources have revealed the resumption of military cooperation between Sudan and the US, with the military attachés of both countries returning to their respective embassies in Khartoum and Washington.
According to Al-Shorooq TV, Colonel Abu Dar Dafaa Allah Al-Amin has arrived in Washington to reopen the military bureau of the Sudanese embassy which has been closed for 28 years. He was received by Deputy Head of Mission Walid Al-Sayyid and members of the mission in the US capital. Al-Amin’s American counterpart, Colonel Jorn Bong, is now in Khartoum to serve as US military attaché. The American officer has already taken part in a number of military exercises, the most recent being linked to the anti-terrorist Operation Eagle Claw in South Darfur.
Negotiators in Khartoum revealed in March that Sudan and the US have agreed upon joint action and reached a compromise on an appropriate strategic vision. A spokesman for Sudan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kareeb Allah Khidr, described this as “an important step” for the consolidation of Sudanese diplomatic representation in the US. “This is an indicator for the resumption of military cooperation, albeit symbolically,” he explained. “However, it gives a push to the normalisation of mutual relations between the two countries.”
Relations between Sudan and the US have been destabilised since President Omar Al-Bashir came to power in 1989. Washington placed Sudan on the list of countries that sponsor terrorism in 1993 and has imposed economic sanctions on it since 1997, including a ban on commercial and financial operations between Khartoum and US markets. America started to ease sanctions in December and they are expected to be totally abolished by next month.
Washington also promised Khartoum to remove Sudan from the terrorist list, end the sanctions and normalise relations if Sudan proves that it is committed to holding a referendum about the future of South Sudan and not hampering its independence. This is something that has not happened despite the fact that Sudan was the first country to recognise the nascent state and President Al-Bashir participated in the July 2011 ceremony held to announce Juba as its capital.