What Egypt Wants in Sudan

The conflict in Sudan between the country’s armed forces and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) has been a major source of concern for its northern neighbour Egypt. Cairo, a backer of Sudan's army, now faces both a humanitarian crisis that is spilling over into its borders and an increasingly challenging geopolitical landscape with Sudan, an ally since the fall of Omar al-Bashir in 2019, descending into chaos.


This week on The Horn, Alan talks with Michael Hanna, Crisis Group’s U.S. Program director, about Egypt’s role in the war in Sudan. They look at the historical ties between the two countries, current political dynamics, and Egypt's response to the 2019 popular uprising and political transition in Sudan. They discuss what is behind Cairo’s support for the Sudanese armed forces and how it positioned itself toward the current conflict in Sudan. They also discuss Cairo's views of U.S.-led diplomacy and the role of Gulf powers Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in Sudan and the Horn of Africa more generally. They also talk about the long-running dispute between Egypt and Ethiopia over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and how the war in Sudan might affect Cairo’s diplomacy in the region more broadly.


For more in-depth analysis on the topics discussed in this episodes, check out our Sudan and Egypt country pages.


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