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Sudan coup: Israeli delegation visited country in midst of takeover

Israeli delegation, including intelligence officers, reportedly met with deputy head of Rapid Support Forces and others shortly after launch of coup
Sudanese anti-coup protesters gather in a street in the capital Khartoum on 30 October 2021, to express their support for the country's democratic transition derailed by a military takeover (AFP)

A delegation from Israel, including members of the Mossad intelligence services, visited Sudan last week as the country was in the grip of unrest prompted by a military coup, according to Israeli and Sudanese media.

According to senior Israeli officials speaking to the Walla news site, the delegation met with Sudanese military officials in the capital Khartoum, including the brother of General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo (known popularly as Hemeti).

Abdul Rahim Hamdan Dagalo is deputy head of the Rapid Support Forces under the leadership of his brother Hemeti.

The organisation has been accused of numerous human rights abuses and crackdowns against pro-democracy protesters and was involved in the coup that seized power last Monday.

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Dagalo was also part of a delegation that visited Israel last month, prior to the military takeover, which has spawned widespread demonstrations calling for civilian rule.

Officials told Walla that although the Sudanese delegation made reference to political instability in the country during the Israeli visit, no reference was made to the upcoming coup.

Israel and Sudan announced the establishment of formal bilateral ties for the first time in October 2020.

It became the sixth Arab country, after Egypt, Jordan, the UAE, Bahrain, and Morocco, to fully recognise the state of Israel.

However, there are long thought to have been tensions over Israel-Sudan relations between the civilian and military wings of the government that has ruled the country since the overthrow of long-time ruler Omar al-Bashir in April 2019.

General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, who led last Monday's takeover, had frequently met with Israeli officials and was reportedly enthusiastic for increasing ties with Israel - something which former US President Donald Trump made a prerequisite of removing the country from its state sponsors of terror list.

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