Following the open foulness and chauvinism expressed by Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s state media against Sudan’s government and people, one is struck by an astonishing historical irony. Perhaps the only street in an Arab capital city that bears the name of two countries together is the Egypt and Sudan Street, extending along the Hadaiq al-Qubbah neighbourhood in Cairo.
It is also interesting to note how official relations between Cairo and Khartoum are warmer and more respectable in times when Egypt knows its friends from its foes, only to decline when Egypt becomes closer to its enemies and hostile to its friends. This makes Israel a determining factor of the form of relations.
Since official Egypt is now in a phase where it is closer to Israel, and its leader spares no occasion to announce Egypt’s keenness to protect Israel’s interests, including those of Israel’s rulers and settlers, it is only natural for it to spew its ugliness and foulness at Khartoum. Sudan is summoned as an enemy, while leaks hint at it being the target of military and security concerns.
Egypt, under Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, seems to be a stranger to history, geography and fundamentals of identity. Indeed, Egypt seems alienated from its essence; given this state of moral desertification, social erosion and moral deprivation, and its revelling in decline, murder, torture, and depriving people of their freedoms and property under the pretext of preserving “the state”. They are ruining the state and its citizens, as well as the concept of citizenship itself, for the sake of keeping the government that is hostile to everything but the real enemy alive.
Following the defeat of June 1967, Egypt had no footing or anything to rely on other than the neighbouring Arab capitals, particularly Khartoum and Algiers. They are now the two capitals that are most targeted by Egypt’s foulness, the “Football War” of 2009 being the worst manifestation of Egypt’s entry into a rivalry with history, geography and morals, following the events at the Omdurman football match between Egypt and Algeria.
This situation of contradicting history and common destiny has taken a more serious turn with Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s government, given its diplomacy and media, and now Sudan now finds itself a target of racism and arrogance.
General Mohamed Fawzi, who was appointed as Egyptian War Minister after the humiliating military setback in 1967, says in his memoirs, published in the 1990s:
“Actions were taken following the Khartoum summit aiming to translate the “nationalism of the battle” in practical terms over the three years from 1967 to 1970. I visited Algeria, Sudan, Morocco and Iraq in order to strengthen Arab military solidarity, by including forces from these countries on the frontlines. For example, Algeria provided a full infantry with its supporting units, and they were reinforced by two 155-mm artillery units. Sudan and Kuwait provided a number of infantry battalions.
The year 1969 was full of critical developments in the Arab-Israeli conflict arena. Two revolutions took place in Sudan and Libya (May-September 1969) that announced, from day one, that they are fully allied with Egypt and Syria in their battle with Israel. They provided their land as strategic zones for the Egyptian forces, as the military college was moved to Jabal Awliya south of Khartoum, while some Egyptian naval units moved to the naval base in Tobruk and training centres for the Air Force were opened in various Libyan bases.”
Read: Sudan and Egypt are one
These batches of military academy graduates, hosted and protected by Khartoum, paved the way for the successful crossing during the October 1973 war. Meanwhile, Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi was still being beaten up by his peers in schoolyards or on street corners, as he said, “When I grow up, I am going to hit you back!”
Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi did grow up indeed, and he beat up every respectable principle and value. Sudan became the enemy and Israel became a friend, a partner and a ally.
Sudan will always be there for Egypt and Egypt for Sudan .. while Al-Sisi will be there for Israel.
Translated from Al Araby Al Jadid ,15 January 2018
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