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General Al-Burhan visits Cairo as Egypt-Sudan relations deepen

Sudan's Sovereign Council chief General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan in the capital Khartoum on September 26, 2020 [ASHRAF SHAZLY/AFP via Getty Images]
Sudan's Sovereign Council chief General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan in the capital Khartoum on September 26, 2020 [ASHRAF SHAZLY/AFP via Getty Images]

General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan is visiting Egypt today for talks on Sudan's political deadlock, one year after he seized power in a coup and overturned the country's democratic transition.

Sudan's Al-Burhan has implemented a state of emergency and dissolved sovereign councils and transitional ministers since taking power in October last year.

Protests calling for the return of civilian rule have been met with violence. More than 90 people have died and thousands of others injured.

The UN has described the lethal force used against protesters as "unacceptable" and "tragic."

Talks between the Sudanese and Egyptian leaders today will likely cover the Renaissance Dam, as the two allies have to date failed to reach a deal with Ethiopia.

Egypt has sought to consolidate ties with African states amid the dispute with Ethiopia, signing military and economic agreements with Uganda, Kenya, Burundi, Rwanda and Djibouti last year.

READ: Egypt extends detention of Al Jazeera journalists

Cairo and Khartoum have conducted joint military exercises, linked their power grids and plan to connect their train lines so that a service can run from Alexandria to Cape Town.

Sudan's Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Mohamed Othman Al-Hussein already visited Egypt earlier this month to discuss cementing military cooperation.

In November last year The Wall Street Journal reported that one day before launching the coup in Sudan, General Al-Burhan visited Egypt for talks to shore up regional support for his power grab.

Egypt's dictator Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, who himself came to power in 2013 following a military coup, has built close ties with the Sudanese military since Omar Al-Bashir was toppled three years ago.

In 2019, as chairperson of the AU, Sisi helped preserve the Transitional Military Council in Sudan, insulating it from sanctions, and attempted to stop the African Union from suspending Khartoum.

Hundreds of Sudanese have demonstrated against Egyptian interference at home, chanting, "This is Sudan. Your border ends in Aswan."

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