While the international community criticised the military coup led by Sudan’s General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan in October, its neighbour Egypt kept a neutral position, leading many to wonder if Khartoum’s military government is an asset to Cairo.
In 1995, former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak arrived in Addis Ababa to attend the opening of an Organisation of African Unity summit. He would have never believed that upon his arrival, and for the third time in 22 months, his enemies would try to take his life, but in vain.
The motorcade which carried Mubarak – who had just landed in the Ethiopian capital – had reached the Palestine Embassy near Meskel Square, when two vehicles blocked its path and gunmen started shooting at the president’s car. Two of his bodyguards were killed, and the president was whisked away to the airport to return to Cairo.
Egypt accused Sudanese leader Hasan al-Turabi, while Ethiopia severed diplomatic relations with Sudan. Cairo also managed to have the UN Security Council impose sanctions on Sudan, with the USA adding the African country to its list of State Sponsors of Terrorism.
It was not until December 2020 that the Trump administration removed Sudan from the list, but the dynamics of power between both countries had already changed, following the 2011 uprising that shook Egypt and the rest of the region.