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CIA: Sadeq al-Mahdi Policies Detached Sudan from the West | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Former Sudanese Prime Minister and head of the opposition Umma Party Sadeq al-Mahdi addresses residents displaced by the Merowe dam as they stage a sit-down protest against what they describe as injustice and oppression, inside the Umma Party Headquarters in Omdurman December 24, 2011. REUTERS/ Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah

Washington- After ousting former Sudanese President Jaafar Nimeiri in April 1985, there was a 14-month period during which a military council was in charge of the country before handing over the authority to the government of Sadeq al-Mahdi.

Two years later the CIA wanted to evaluate Mahdi’s ruling period, so a group of analysts were designated to present an evaluation to the decision-makers.

In the first few months, Mahdi tried to detach from the policy of Nimeiri. His different policy shifted Sudan from a pro-West country in foreign affairs to a neutral one, said the analysts.

The CIA documents revealed that Mahdi policies made him lose a huge part of assistance from his traditional supporters in the West, in which they reduced their economic and military aid because of his ambitions.

The Cost of Neutrality

On the internal level, the deficiency of foreign aid influenced the power of Mahdi. The deterioration of economic conditions sparked opposition against Mahdi. The CIA evaluation assumed that this deterioration was used as an excuse to attack Mahdi and his government.

CIA had concerns of ousting Mahdi within few months, but analysts did not consider this an unfortunate event but actually wanted to accelerate his ousting.

Analysts were certain that thwarting Mahdi will happen after one year, without hinting that the agency will have a role to play in that scenario. The report only said that the ousting will be for the best interest of the U.S. and the West because militants, known to be practical and more realistic, would be in power after Mahdi.

U.S. Interest in Palestinian Presence in Sudan

U.S. documents revealed that the CIA showed huge interest in the Palestinian presence in Sudan since Sudan was among the Arab countries chosen to host Palestinians displaced from Lebanon after the Israeli invasion in 1982.

Secret Action in Free Society

Although the CIA possesses huge potentials, yet the information provided by the analysts on the Sudanese issue seems shallow or below the expectations pinned on such an agency of rich information storage.

But still, what can the CIA know other than what the Sudanese citizen does? Sudan is naturally an open country where citizens are used to transparency and practicing political activities openly without hiding secrets from people.