Welcome to another one of our “Out of the Loop” episodes, where we dig a little deeper into fascinating current events that may only register as a blip on the media’s news cycle and have conversations with the people who find themselves immersed in them.
On This Episode of Out of the Loop:
- Sudan is currently in a civil war between two factions of the military: the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF).
- The SAF is led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, who led the military coup in 2021 that ousted the civilian government.
- The RSF is led by General Mohamed Hamdan “Hemedti” Dagalo, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes in Darfur.
- This latest civil war in a nation accustomed to conflict has triggered a humanitarian crisis, leading to the displacement of millions who urgently require food and medical assistance.
- As a fledgling democracy rich in resources but economically struggling, Sudan is a test case for whether democracy can take root in the Arab world. While the current civil war undermines this case, what’s the best way this can play out for the people of Sudan — and the world? What can we do to help?
- And much more!
- Connect with Jordan on Twitter, on Instagram, and on YouTube. If you have something you’d like us to tackle here on an Out of the Loop episode, drop Jordan a line at email@example.com and let him know!
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Miss our conversation with Ishmael Beah, a former child soldier and New York Times bestselling author? Get caught up with episode 622: Ishmael Beah | Memoirs of a Boy Soldier here!
Resources from This Episode:
- International Committee of the Red Cross
- Gasim Ali Mohamed | LinkedIn
- Power Struggle in Sudan | Global Conflict Tracker
- The Sudan Crisis: A Power Struggle by Design | Al Jazeera
- Sudanese Armed Forces | Wikipedia
- Who Are Sudan’s Rapid Support Forces? | Reuters
- Russia’s Wagner Group and Why Coups Fail | Out of the Loop | Jordan Harbinger
- Oliver Bullough | Why Thieves and Crooks Rule the World | Jordan Harbinger
905: A New Civil War in Sudan | Out of the Loop
This transcript is yet untouched by human hands. Please proceed with caution as we sort through what the robots have given us. We appreciate your patience!
[00:00:00] Jordan Harbinger: This episode of the Jordan Harbinger show is brought to you by Nissan. Whether you want more adventure, more electric, more action, more guts, or more turbocharged excitement, Nissan is here to make sure you get it. Learn more at nissanusa. com. Coming up next on the Jordan Harbinger show.
[00:00:14] Dr. Gasim Ali Mohamed: I think the Americans and the Saudis have been really putting a lot of pressure, not only in the region.
[00:00:18] But also on the generals for the need for them to stop fighting and for the need for them to embrace that civilian solution to come to a conclusion. This has to end. The circle of violence has been continuing for too long. It has to end.
[00:00:34] Jordan Harbinger: Welcome to the show. I'm Jordan Harbinger. On the Jordan Harbinger Show, we decode the stories, secrets, and skills of the world's most fascinating people and turn their wisdom into practical advice that you can use to impact your own life and those around you. Our mission is to help you become a better informed, more critical thinker through long form conversations with a variety of amazing folks from spies to CEOs, athletes to authors, thinkers to performers.
[00:00:57] Even the occasional mafia enforcer, former cult member, arms dealer, or four star general. And if you're new to the show or you want to tell your friends about the show, I suggest our episode starter packs. These are collections of our favorite episodes on persuasion and negotiation, psychology and geopolitics, disinformation and cyber warfare, crime and cults, and more.
[00:01:15] It'll help new listeners get a taste of everything we do here on the show. Just visit jordanharbinger. com slash start or search for us in your Spotify app to get started. Hey, quick PSA, my Facebook account, both the show page and my personal account have somehow been reset and hacked, which is interesting because I use two factor and a bunch of recovery stuff and the maximum security protocols.
[00:01:37] And none of those, one, are working, and two, are working to recover the account. Facebook is working on this because there's a quote unquote fault in their security system that they're working on fixing. The reason I'm telling you this is because if you are friends with me on Facebook and you get, not Instagram, that's...
[00:01:52] That's fine so far. But if you're friends with me on Facebook, or you see something weird happening with my Facebook account or the show page, or someone's DMing you to, I don't know, invest in some Bitcoin thing that I'm supposedly selling, that is definitely not me. That's my fear. I, look, post fabric stores or cheap Oakley ads all you want, but when people start DMing and scamming people, that's what I'm actually worried about because I've seen that happen before.
[00:02:13] So. Just be aware that my Facebook account is compromised and Facebook is working on it, and hopefully by the time you hear this, it'll be resolved. But in the meantime, don't invest in any sketchy Bitcoin scams or anything weird coming from me in a dmm. All I do in DMS is reply to you and chat and talk about the show and maybe ask you for a review or ask you how six minute networking is going, stuff like that.
[00:02:34] I will never ask you for money. Hopefully that goes without saying, but I'd hate for any of you to become a victim to these a holes who have taken over my Facebook account. And I'm still mystified as to how they've done this. Because even if you have my password, you have to have my phone number, and even if you have those things, you're supposed to have my Authenticator app.
[00:02:50] But apparently none of that mattered in this instance, so. Take care, enjoy the show, and hopefully this will all be a moot point. Today, another out of the loop episode, this time covering the current situation over in Sudan, which has erupted into essentially a civil war between two factions vying for control inside the country.
[00:03:08] This time though, instead of a rebel insurgency or military junta, This is two factions of the military itself having declared supremacy and then fighting it out for power. So it's sort of a fractured junta situation. My guest today, Ghassem Mohamed, is a doctor working with the ICRC, so the International Committee of the Red Cross, who escaped from Sudan with his family.
[00:03:27] Hearing his story got me really interested in Sudan, the conflict that's going on there. the story of his escape, all of which we are going to discuss here on the show today. This episode has a lot of parties and a lot of moving parts, but I do find it, of course, interesting, if not slightly complex at times.
[00:03:42] But I think even if you don't know anything about Sudan, you'll be able to follow along just fine. Here we go with Ghasem Mohamed.
[00:03:53] So you don't meet a lot of people from Sudan, or at least I don't. You're a doctor with, is it the International Red Cross? Is that what we're talking about?
[00:04:02] Dr. Gasim Ali Mohamed: I'm a doctor by training and I'm a physiotherapist by career wise, but I'm a trainer with the ICRC, with the International Committee of the Red Cross.
[00:04:10] Got it. Okay. I was working in their rehabilitation program and then I moved on to their learning and development program. Great.
[00:04:15] Jordan Harbinger: Okay. And you recently escaped from Sudan. I know you're not a proper expert on the conflict in Sudan from a journalistic sense or in an academic sense. But I think you're perfect to tell this story because one, you're from there and you've lived there and you recently escaped from there.
[00:04:31] What caused you to escape from your homeland? Jordan,
[00:04:37] Dr. Gasim Ali Mohamed: Sudan is a country that is transitioning from a 30 year dictatorship, Islamist dictatorship to democracy. And it started in 2019. Now, at the time, there was an agreement between the civilian forces and the military after the revolution, which got rid of the 30 year dictatorship.
[00:04:57] And the military agreed to share power for a transitional phase and then hand it over to civilians who would then have, have elections and so forth and democracy would be installed in the country. What happened was that as soon as it came time for the military to hand power over to the civilians, they launched a military coup.
[00:05:18] They took over the country blatantly in violation of the treaty and of the agreement that they had with the civilian components of the revolution, which were all the political parties and all the civil society groups. And they took control. When this happened, the Sudanese military over the past 30 years has been engaged in a lot of proxy wars in the country itself.
[00:05:41] Now what's the problem with a multi ethnic military? It's not very effective when it comes to ethnic cleansing. It's very difficult to get a multi ethnic military to agree to cleanse an area because you have people from that area in that military. I see. So strategically, how would you handle it?
[00:05:59] Jordan Harbinger: So let me give a little bit of background here, slash clarity, slash history, because I don't expect you to have these dates handy, but Sudan...
[00:06:06] As, as most countries are, is essentially a made up country. And what I mean by that is, it became independent from Britain in 1956. And, it looks like that it's coup, then democracy for five minutes, coup, democracy for five minutes, or something else, coup, then a coup overthrowing the other coup. It's like, your national support over there is the military overthrowing the previous government.
[00:06:30] I don't mean to make light of it, here we are. Omar al Bashir, the guy you just mentioned, was an army colonel who took over in a bloodless coup in the late 80s, put down a military junta, so a military regime, and you said Islamic military regime, does that just mean... Sharia law, does that mean Islamic law?
[00:06:48] Is that what that means?
[00:06:50] Dr. Gasim Ali Mohamed: There're Islamists. There's a difference between an Islamist and an Islamic establishment. An Islamist is an Islamic sect that believes it has the, uh, correct interpretation, has the legal right to run the country according to what their vision of Islam is. So they're claiming to be Islamic, yet they're probably as far away from it as can be.
[00:07:12] Mm-hmm. . So they're an Islamist regime. They try to have a theocracy and they put a theocracy for about 25, 30 years. It was a theocracy had to be a part of the Islamist party. They're called the Muslim Brotherhood. It's a very old Islamist political system that was set up in the earlier part of the past century in Egypt by a guy named Al Banna.
[00:07:33] And this theory held that the Islamic countries had to be run through using Islamic Sharia law and that this is the way Islamic Sharia law looks like. That's really where there's a lot of discussion about what does that actually, and there are a lot of people who see it closer to what we can call secular, all right, in today's terms.
[00:07:50] And there are other people who say, no, it has nothing to do with secularism. It is totally fundamental. And the problem is it's not really well adapted, so it doesn't go well with what's happening globally, what's happening in the world in terms of technology, and at the same time, how people are understanding the religion.
[00:08:04] Out of all the Western religions, Islam has the distinction of not actually having a hierarchy. There is no sheikh of sheikhs, there's no pope, there's none of that. And so that's actually one of the problems with the religion itself internally if you try to control it, because now people have the right to Interpret the way they want to interpret along certain lines.
[00:08:23] And that's why the only way they come to power is through these military coups. And you've seen that in Iran, for example, that's a very fundamentalist regime right there. And now you saw it happening in Sudan. And when they took power for 30 years, though it was bloodless later on, there would have be a lot of blood that was shed because of, and of course the infamous genocide in Darfur.
[00:08:43] It's just an example of what I was getting into earlier about how multi ethnic militaries don't do well with ethnic cleansing. So what they do is they then go ahead and form these paramilitary groups who are of a certain tribe, certain political faction, or a certain ethnic group, and then they get them to fight their enemies.
[00:09:03] And that's exactly what the RSF is,
[00:09:05] Jordan Harbinger: or the Janjaweed. Yeah. Okay. So you mentioned how do you get the multi ethnic military, you form a militia. And I've heard of Janjaweed militias. I think a lot of us have, if we've been following the news, you've heard of Darfur. So instead of putting down this uprising that was happening in Darfur with a multi ethnic military, where half the military is going to go, wait a minute, I'm from there.
[00:09:26] I'm not going to go kill the people I grew up with. I'm going to rebel against this. Omar Al Bashir, the former dictator, the military leader, he forms the John Jo Weed militia and says, these are all people who are not of that ethnicity, who I can sort of militarize against those. They're gonna go run ham in Darfur, but what I guess I don't understand guess him is if you've got the military over here, my right fist, and you've got the John Jo Weed militia who later rebrands, I guess is the R S F Rapid Support forces.
[00:09:55] Over here on my left is how is the military not like you're killing my neighbors over there with this other militia I don't really like that How do they not have something to say about the fact that there's an arrival military in the same country or do
[00:10:08] Dr. Gasim Ali Mohamed: they? There are voices in the military that are against it.
[00:10:12] But during the time that he was raising These new forces, he was also dismantling the secular non politicized military. You also have to remember that all of the officers starting in 1989, from the time he came to power, they had to be affiliated with his political party. So eventually after 20 years of that, all of the officers are politicized.
[00:10:35] Now you have the lower rank. Soldiers are the ones who actually have the problem. You'll realize that it's the sergeants. It's the people who don't have stars on their shoulders. Okay. They're the ones who are against what's going on. They're the ones who are voicing concern, but they don't have power in the military to make anything of it.
[00:10:51] There were some attempted coups along the way. But the way they put them down is that they go ahead and they execute anybody who's involved in it. So also the use of force or the use of violence, the way that they would made a lot of people take a step back from trying to do anything about
[00:11:07] Jordan Harbinger: it. That makes sense.
[00:11:09] And so these Janjaweed militias or the RSF, which is what we'll refer to them from here out, because that's their rebrand. They're run by General Hemetti. What I found fascinating about this wasn't just merely an ethnic cleansing operation going on in the West or like the fist of the dictator. It also looks like a business empire, right?
[00:11:30] They've got gold mines, they control border smuggling and sort of import export from different countries like Chad and Libya, and they seem to rent their soldiers out as mercenaries for other low level conflicts in that area as well, especially I think in Libya, as listeners might know, has an ongoing conflict and civil war.
[00:11:52] And so it just seems like it's big money when you control gold and border trade using armed forces. So this RSF, these Janjaweed militias, they weren't just like ragtag. ethnic cleansing forces. It seems like they've really stacked a lot of resources together from their business empire.
[00:12:09] Dr. Gasim Ali Mohamed: Absolutely. They started off as a ragtag group of a thousand, two thousand, but with every victory and with every plot of land that they were able to secure, they were given something in return.
[00:12:22] So it started off with vehicles, buildings, even simple things like citizenship and passports and government documents and the scholarships to universities. And remember, they're from one tribe, so it's one cousin gives another cousin, gives his uncle's cousin, gives his brother, gives his, you know, and it's just growing like that.
[00:12:39] And then it started to get into Prime real estate, it started to go into buildings, started to grow into airplanes, gold mines. They just kept growing. This is a regime that is wanted by the ICICI, by the international criminal court. They all have cases against them. Most of them are banned from travel and this is their scapegoat, right?
[00:13:00] This is the group of people who at the end of the day. When things get really bad, they're going to say, we had nothing to do with it. It's all this person's fault. And he was the fall guy. He was going to take the blame for everything. And he was willing to do that. Cause at the time he had nothing. He started off as a camel trader in a market.
[00:13:16] He was very good at it. Now you're looking at somebody who exported 300 tons of gold to Russia right before the Ukraine war, he buffered the impact of Western sanctions against Russia. That's the kind of person he's become. It's
[00:13:30] Jordan Harbinger: really wild. And the parallels here, Ghassem, are pretty incredible. Putin has this guy who was a catering chef who now runs Wagner.
[00:13:38] And Sudan has Hemeti, who you said, camel trader, and now is a gold mine. Exporter among running the RSF, which just looks like Wagner, but Sudanese.
[00:13:50] Dr. Gasim Ali Mohamed: Yeah, they had, there's a lot of similarity there, aren't they? And they're both like militias that are sent to do work that the government cannot actually say that it's involved in.
[00:13:58] And if they have to cut ties with them and if they have to jail them, and if they have to even get rid of them, they'll do it. It's no sweat off their back.
[00:14:05] Jordan Harbinger: So South Sudan, another new country in the area, that's probably a different show, but it looks like that broke off in the civil war that was taking place just recently.
[00:14:16] And what I didn't know is that country took 75 percent of the oil reserves of Sudan. Did that create a lot of instability and inflation and economic issues for the country of Sudan? And was that exploited then by these?
[00:14:30] Dr. Gasim Ali Mohamed: Militias. South Sudan, it was interesting. South Sudan is a consequence of the Islamists political theory.
[00:14:38] Sudan with the South was heading towards more of a secular route, and the only way to prevent that secularism from penetrating society from the point of view of the Islamists was to get rid of that secular opinion. Even though historically people had very good relations, uh, the society had good relations, sure, there were problems, but nothing that education and healthcare couldn't take care of and some guidance, some leadership.
[00:15:01] But that was their way to solve the Sudanese problem was to get rid of the South. That way, the civil war would end. And they thought, you know, everything would go towards their Islamic state. Now they can set up their Islamic state with whatever version of Sharia they would like to implement the war in the South.
[00:15:16] One of the problems is that the Southern generals themselves with their Northern counterparts over the years have formed relationships and have formed a working security arrangement, right? Whereby. All of the oil in South Sudan exits through the north. So they needed to have this close bond with the north.
[00:15:33] And I'm sorry to say that they've been tainted. And they're tainting each other actually. They're feeding off of each other's problems. They understand they're playing the same games. One group against another group, pitting people against people. Here's South Sudan, a country that just got on its feet in 2011.
[00:15:48] Back in the civil war in 2012 until today. And it seems that these generals take their society hostage. They feed the military and they starve the population. Then the international community is concerned about the people on the ground. So here they are trying to beg them to stop doing what they're doing, overlooking a lot of what they're doing in terms of taking the revenue of the country and putting it into their own pockets and building their own five star hotels in town and sending supplies to help the people.
[00:16:12] And the government now feels it has no obligation towards its people. Just let the international community take care of it or let the UN take care of it. And we don't have to do anything. But then you ask them, how is it that you're able to afford all of this? Where's the people's money going? And there's no answer.
[00:16:26] And so they're doing the same thing, unfortunately. So they do feed off of each other. They are allies at times and in certain things are not as well aligned, but remember it's oil, it's about a million barrels a day. It flows through the North. The North gets 20 a barrel. The South gets the rest of the 80 a barrel.
[00:16:42] And until today, South Sudan cannot build hospitals or schools. How do you go about explaining that?
[00:16:47] Jordan Harbinger: That's it, like kleptocracy. And we've done episodes on that. I want to also make a note here. Al Bashir, the leader before these two generals that we're talking about now, Hemeti and the leader of the regular.
[00:16:59] Armed forces. He did something different and knowing he might be overthrown, he did some coup proofing. We discussed this in episode 855. That means you surround yourself with protectors who are actually at odds with each other, right? So Janjaweed militias, regular armed forces, probably some other oil baron telecom, whatever rich individuals that have some sort of power shipping people.
[00:17:20] And it's important that these people don't get along because then they won't join forces and overthrow you. They're too busy fighting with one another. Spoiler alert, that only worked for a little while and then didn't happen. So the army, the regular Sudanese forces and the RSF, you mentioned at the top of the show, joined forces and overthrow the dictator, Omar al Bashir.
[00:17:38] They promised democracy, but never follow through. Big surprise. And I know part of the reason is because Hemeti, leader of the RSF, would have had to be absorbed into the regular Sudanese army. And he was probably just, what, no thanks, I'm rich, I'm powerful, I'm not going to give that up to some rival because you told me to.
[00:17:55] Don't really care.
[00:17:56] Dr. Gasim Ali Mohamed: Absolutely. Absolutely. And Jordan, you have to remember that. They didn't overthrow Omar al Bashir because they wanted to. It wasn't like they had a sudden epiphany. They overthrew him because they were surrounded by the people. So you have to remember there were six months of protests that accumulated into 2 million people gathering around the military headquarters.
[00:18:16] So they were stuck inside the headquarters and the people were outside. Wow. And they were chanting for removal of the president. At that moment, Omar al Bashir, like you said, he went into, okay, plan B. Which is, let's give them what they want, right? And then let's work it out. And so what he did was his security apparatus, who are these generals today, launched their coup and they put him in jail and they put a lot of his other people in jail.
[00:18:42] They did what the people wanted because if they didn't, they knew that they would not control the scene. They always want to be in control, right? And so sometimes to keep control, you have to act defeated, you have to give in to demands. And then when you're strong, you can take what's yours. And by the way, you have to remember right now, all of those people who went to jail in the beginning are now loose.
[00:19:01] So Amar al Bashir, his whole staff are right now hanging around in Sudan. They've been showing up on social media. They're talking, the political party is active and all of that could not have happened had this war not broken out. And so this of course leads people to think of why the war started in itself.
[00:19:17] Was this a part of an escape strategy? Has Ishaa shanked himself out? You know, I mean,
[00:19:23] Jordan Harbinger: that's the question. That is interesting because I did try to find where is Omar al Bashir, the former dictator that they overthrew because it seemed like they... were more or less getting along, right? He had put these two generals in place, everything was hunky dory, everybody was getting rich, stealing from the people, and then they demanded he be overthrown.
[00:19:42] There's pictures of him in the cage, in court, going to jail, and then he gets out. It's an interesting choice to let him back out after these guys are now in charge. But the trial and the coup seems to have generated some instability. But then Himeti, this guy says, Hey, I want to be the only game in town.
[00:20:01] I don't want to be absorbed into the army. In fact, I'm going to go try to kill. Al Burhan, the leader that the head general in the army, which that's a really bold move. He essentially tries to become the only military or only militia in the whole country and it didn't work. What happened there? All right.
[00:20:20] Dr. Gasim Ali Mohamed: So Hemeti weeks before this, there was an agreement they were trying to sign with the civilian forces. I remember that they launched their coup in 2021 October, right? They had dollars in the bank. They felt secure. They thought that by doing this move, they could sustain and themselves for a couple of years.
[00:20:39] They thought there would be support from the Saudis. The Emiratis, whom they had, remember, been very close allies of during the war in Yemen, right? These guys were giving troops in Yemen. So they felt that military bond would sustain them. And what happened was the international community, and you have to give credit to the United States, immediately after the coup, the U.
[00:20:58] S. came in and told all the countries in the region, they told them, hands off of Sudan. And this actually from day one of the fall of Umar al Bashir, the US was insisting that nobody hand any money over to Sudan until they took certain steps to ensure that democracy would take place. And that was the will of the people.
[00:21:16] So I remember the Americans were not very active in this area for a very long time because that's such a bad relationship with Umar al Bashir. And for them to come back, they were very careful that when they did come back, they would do it in a way that would not offend the people. So they weren't going to put boots on the ground.
[00:21:31] They weren't going to launch like a military strike. They weren't going to do any of the things that can inflame people. They've already had the Iraq experience, Afghanistan. They're coming with all of that. So it's a different type of American strategy. But they did hold back the Egyptians and the Saudis, who are oftentimes, and the Emiratis, very quick to intervene in Sudanese politics and get the ball rolling in their favor.
[00:21:53] For These are Gulf countries that import all their food, while Sudan is the breadbasket of the world. I see. They can feed the world. Wow. These are countries that have a lot of dairy production. But no land to graze their animals on. These are countries that have been looking towards a strategy of borrowing or renting land, millions of hectares of land, not only in Sudan, but throughout Africa and Tanzania and other places so that they can grow the food for their people.
[00:22:15] And it's an economic theory that works, but it only works if it's fair to the people who are there. Only if they're getting jobs, only if there's some form of security given them. But when you have that one decision maker. The theory of the one decision maker, right? It's always easier to work with one person.
[00:22:30] You don't want to work with a parliament. You don't want to try to pass a bill through the Senate or through the House of Representatives. You'd prefer to have Amr al Bashir, right? You sit down, you have a latte with him, and he gives you half the country.
[00:22:42] Jordan Harbinger: Is that his drink, the latte? The Omar Bashir, the junta latte?
[00:22:48] Is that what he's known for? I'm sure
[00:22:48] Dr. Gasim Ali Mohamed: he has something. So, when they came to this agreement, part of the agreement was how long it would take to integrate the RSF into the military. The RSF demanded 10 years for that integration to take place. The military, fearing the RSF because now the RSF has better equipment than the military, We're thinking along the lines of two to four years.
[00:23:07] This is what sparked the initial problem. Now add to it a little bit of external influence coming from Ethiopia and Egypt. Now remember the Grand Renaissance Dam, which is the biggest dam in the world, is being built on the Blue Nile during this time. Egypt cannot exist, nor can Sudan exist, without
[00:23:25] Jordan Harbinger: one of the Niles.
[00:23:27] I just realized there's two Niles. I'm embarrassed to admit. I did not know that. So there are two Niles.
[00:23:33] Dr. Gasim Ali Mohamed: Yeah, there's the blue Nile, which comes from the highlands of Ethiopia, right? From Lake Tana and the highlands. And then you have the white Nile, which comes from Lake Victoria, which is Victoria falls in, I believe that's Uganda passing through Southern Sudan.
[00:23:46] And the blue Nile is the strong one because it comes from the highlands. It's really strong. It's often all of the rain that comes on the Ethiopian highlands comes through that. So they're building this dam there because Ethiopia wants to jump into. Uh, newly developed status. They're trying to develop a manufacturing base.
[00:24:02] In order for you to have manufacturing, you need to have cheap electricity. And this is their only way. They have nothing else. The Egyptians don't like this idea. Not only is it because it's competitive with their vision of what they want for themselves, but it's also because Egypt has historically taken over 75 percent of the Nile's water for itself.
[00:24:21] This was based on an agreement done during the days of the British Empire when they ruled this whole area. And it was agreed that Sudan would take about 20 25%, Egypt would take 75%. Nobody thought about any of the other neighboring countries. Now these neighboring countries have recently started to move.
[00:24:38] And so this was a very big accomplishment on the part of Ethiopia to set up this dam. So the Egyptians wanted the dam to progress at a rate that they were comfortable with. It's a filling of the water itself. They used a lot of excuses such as, what if there's no rainfall? What if there's this? What if there's that?
[00:24:56] Anyway, they've always threatened any country in Africa that if you build a dam on the Nile without our agreement, without our blessing, we'll bomb it. We'll go to war with you. So they sent their air force to Marawi Air Base in Sudan under the guise of military drills. However, these are military drills that have been taking place over a period of three years.
[00:25:16] Even the people who live in the area often joke and say, we've never seen a military drill that extends for a period of three years. And this was seen as a direct threat to the Ethiopians. There was a war of words with the Ethiopians and they told the Ethiopians, if you move forward on this without our agreement, we will take matters into our own hands.
[00:25:34] The Ethiopians countered, we will also, and Sudan is in the middle. Remember now, let's go to Hmeti. So what does Hmeti have to do with all of this? Hemeti is supported a little bit by the Emiratis because that's his gold market.
[00:25:50] Jordan Harbinger: You're listening to the Jordan Harbinger show with our guest Gassim Mohamed. This is out of the loop on the Sudan crisis. We'll be right back. This episode is sponsored in part by Nissan. These days, too many people have to settle for the next best thing, especially when it comes to choosing a car. But at Nissan, there's a vehicle type for everyone, for every driver who wants more.
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[00:28:16] And many of the guests on our show already subscribe and contribute to the course. So, hey, come join us. You'll be in smart company where you belong. You can find the course at jordanharbinger. com slash course. Now back to out of the loop on the Sudan crisis with Gassim Mohamed. UAE, United Arab Emirates, they buy a ton of the gold.
[00:28:37] from Hemeti in Sudan. And like you said, they use his soldiers to fight in Yemen. And what's strange to me is they also do a little something with the regular Sudanese army. And there's a warlord in Libya that's dealing with the RSF and Russia supplying the RSF and Wagner's training the RSF in exchange for a piece of the gold trade.
[00:28:56] Again, Wagner, we did a whole breakdown on them, episode 855 out of the loop on Wagner. But yeah, the whole area, UAE, Yemen, Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea is saying something because Ethiopia is, Egypt, Libya, and Saudi, everybody's got a pinky finger or more in Sudan's business. It's not just confusing, but there's too many strings on the marionette, right?
[00:29:18] It's got to be really hard to control and keep everything together.
[00:29:22] Dr. Gasim Ali Mohamed: It is. Because once you realize, though... The bottom line is the U S dollar, right? The bottom line is money. So what does Emirates have to do with Ethiopia? For example, Emirates went ahead and invested billions of dollars in ports on the red sea.
[00:29:35] So they have a port in Eritrea, which you just mentioned. They have a port in Djibouti, which happens to be the only port for the Ethiopian highland, because Ethiopia does not have any ports on the sea. Those were all taken by Eritrea. So the only other country, aside from Eritrea, which is of course a historical antagonist of Ethiopia is to have Djibouti and that's where Dubai Ports Authority have put their money on.
[00:30:00] And that's where the train goes every day, moving goods into Ethiopia, which is an economy that's been expanding at 10 to 13 percent a year, and that's one of the fastest growing African economies in the area. And remember, now we're going to get an extra six gigawatts of power. That gives us a good manufacturing base and that allows all those companies to start producing and exporting.
[00:30:20] So it's like people are looking 10, 15 years down the line and that's where they put their money. So what did they do? They got Hamedy, they told him this worries us. So Hamedy says, I'm worried anyway, the military has been taking all this action without really even consulting me. He sends a few troops down to Marawi air base, surrounds it.
[00:30:36] And tells them, get rid of the Egyptians. The military, of course, is, you're under our command. You don't give us the orders. Now they go into a television debate. Every day somebody is saying something. He's saying, I'm trying to protect myself. I feel I'm being threatened by the Egyptians. Of course, he doesn't have an air force.
[00:30:54] Nor does he have an effective anti aircraft weapon system. So he thinks that this is the only way that they will get rid of him, is if they try to take him out using the air force, and he's also trying to protect his interests in the region by flexing his muscles, showing that he is the man to talk to in Sudan.
[00:31:09] This is the man who exports gold globally, and especially to certain powers, and they can use it. To their benefit. And the Emiratis are very happy. He can use their system. We can use their banking system. He can sell to them. They're an open port. They really deal with everybody. They have friends here and they have friends here.
[00:31:25] That's because to them, it's business. It's just about business, their national interests and political interests. They see
[00:31:32] Jordan Harbinger: it differently. It's like Switzerland, Nazi gold is still yellow, still shiny. We'll take it. Sorry, Emiratis, maybe it's not quite that bad, but they just don't care. Absolutely.
[00:31:41] Dr. Gasim Ali Mohamed: A lot of people have criticized them over the years for them not taking a stance and not looking at things in terms of the values and how it affects other people.
[00:31:48] Even the Russians, the whole Russian connection, you could say that it could have started in the UAE because if you go back about two decades ago, the Russian mob was laundering through the UAE. This is according to a lot of news reports and a lot of investigative journalism. So a lot of the people who are coming out of Chechnya or a lot of the money that was coming out of Russia were going there and people were just showing up with a million dollars in their hand and nobody was asking questions.
[00:32:11] And that's where he started to fight with Burhan. The problem is he doesn't have a political base and he's a smart guy and as he has the Wagner group and he has other groups he has a lot of companies by the way that work on his image and consult with the political consultants and they told him this they told him you don't have a political base.
[00:32:29] You lost favor with anybody who wants democracy. When your troops were documented, getting rid of protesters and shooting them and killing them, what will you do? And so he just came out with the truth. He said, okay, I'm going to use the truth. To build a political
[00:32:43] Jordan Harbinger: base. This is Hamedy, leader of the
[00:32:46] Dr. Gasim Ali Mohamed: ISF, okay.
[00:32:46] And he came on television. He said, look, guys, the problem is the military is infiltrated by the Islamist party, you will never have a democracy if all of these generals who are from the Islamist time remain in power. So I'm here to get rid of them. And I want to start with Burhan.
[00:33:02] Jordan Harbinger: Burhan is the leader of the Sudanese army at this
[00:33:04] Dr. Gasim Ali Mohamed: time.
[00:33:04] He is the head of the transitional council itself. He's the vice president. Hemeti is the vice president. He's the
[00:33:10] Jordan Harbinger: president. Okay, so al Burhan is the president of the transitional council and the leader of the regular Sudanese army. Hemeti is the vice president of this transitional council and the leader of the RSF.
[00:33:21] What could go wrong with these military leaders also holding super high political positions after overthrowing the previous dictator? This is such a mess, man. A recipe
[00:33:30] Dr. Gasim Ali Mohamed: for disaster, if there is any, and people had warned them, people had already spoken to this in the past. There is no way that a militia can run a country.
[00:33:40] That's number one. Number two, you cannot have more than one military in a country. And so remember, you're talking about two militaries. I'm sad to say there's actually four more military groups that are not talked about, but do
[00:33:53] Jordan Harbinger: exist. Paramilitary organizations? You're talking about government sanctioned organizations?
[00:33:58] Or just militias?
[00:33:59] Dr. Gasim Ali Mohamed: They're called non state armed groups. Okay. These are what some people would call rebels. So you have four more of them in the different parts of the country. In the West, in the East, and in the
[00:34:10] Jordan Harbinger: South. Okay. So like Darfur, South Sudan, et cetera? Yes,
[00:34:15] Dr. Gasim Ali Mohamed: and the East, you can call them the Beja group, who are also fighting for their rights in the area.
[00:34:22] Because of the centralized way that power is in Sudan for so long, all of these regions were neglected. In Darfur, you can imagine the groups came into existence because of what was happening in Darfur. They were a part of the problem that Hmeti was supposed to get rid of. In the process, he got rid of their people more than he got rid of their militaries, per se.
[00:34:42] And of course they would easily transition between Chad and Sudan. These four groups are also part of the political process. During this transitional phase, they were given seats on the Transitional Council. It was a part of the government's effort, our international effort even, to sort of recognize that they had rights in the country, that they had needs that had to be dealt with immediately.
[00:35:03] Unfortunately, with the coup d'etat, they remained on the council. Unlike the civilian component, which was totally taken out of the political scene, they stayed on the political scene.
[00:35:12] Jordan Harbinger: This is incredible. It's really something. And Sudan, by the way, also near the Suez Canal. So a lot of other countries are watching this with interest, but I would imagine some of these other groups.
[00:35:21] are wanting to control shipping in that area, use that to get leverage. So the entrenched interests here are not going anywhere. Even if Sudan was one ethnicity, which it is not, and you had one military, you'd still have entrenched interest saying, well, I kind of want to put my finger in this pie because there's too much gold.
[00:35:40] There's too much money. There's too much shipping. And that's all a matter of national security for the whole world at that point.
[00:35:46] Dr. Gasim Ali Mohamed: Yes, absolutely. And again, we go back to the Russians. So in 2017, as President Obama was leaving office, one of the last things he did was he reduced the sanctions on the Sudanese government based on the fact that Omar al Bashir had been cooperating with them on this terrorist file.
[00:36:03] And immediately Omar al Bashir went to Russia and said he needed their help. He came back with, is he came back with two things. Number one, he came back with a promise for a nuclear reactor in exchange for a base on the Red Sea. So now you see the official Russian government position on Sudan. They want access to the Red Sea.
[00:36:27] Let's make this real interesting. Let's put a base in Latakia up in Syria, north of the Suez Canal. And let's put a base right here south of Suez Canal, across from Saudi Arabia and Jeddah, which are just about a few kilometers to the east, and our main shipping lane. Interestingly, we have the Chinese military, we have NATO, and we have Yeah.
[00:36:46] U S military in Djibouti south of us, and we're just going to put ourselves right here. Let's just, let's load up the deck, let's have some fun. And so they really wanted to complicate the situation. The military is agreeing to this. The military wants the jets. The military wants the weapons. The military wants the nuclear technology.
[00:37:05] The civilian components, which was led by a great prime minister named Hamdok, who was just there for about a year and a half. But during his time, this issue was put on hold immediately. And the reason being, from his perspective, was that this is a, an issue of national security. You need to have a parliament.
[00:37:22] Where you can actually discuss this. It cannot just be come down to that one man decision that we had discussed earlier or one woman decision for that matter. It had to be something that was discussed. But of course, at the same time, people noticed like the US Navy pulled up to harbor one day and they were greeted well, and they had an interview and they left.
[00:37:41] The next day the Russians came in. So it was obvious that this was going to be a point of conflict going forward. One of them wanted to get something there. And that's why the Russians, until today, only yesterday, the Russians asked their people in Sudan if they would like to be evacuated from the country.
[00:37:57] Now I have my roots in Sudan. I'm a Sudanese. I evacuated in less than 20 days. Here you have the Russians have been there for three and a half months later. I'm, if anybody would deserve to have a Sudanese nationality right now, it'd be those Russians who are still staying in Sudan during all this time.
[00:38:11] They should just automatically give them, they don't need no green card first
[00:38:16] Jordan Harbinger: passport. They get it right away. At this point. The Sudanese passport might be better than the Russian one. I don't know. They might take it. They might take that deal.
[00:38:22] Dr. Gasim Ali Mohamed: Yeah, you're right. They won't be in Ukraine tomorrow. That's right.
[00:38:26] Jordan Harbinger: shade on Sudan, but they probably are looking for any way to get anywhere besides Turkey, which is now loaded to the brim with Russians. So Hemeti, the vice president of this transitional council, Al Burhan, the president of this transitional council and leader of the army, Hemeti goes in and says, all right, I'm going to get rid of this guy and what happens?
[00:38:43] It sounds like he just starts. firing on this military base where Alboran is holed up.
[00:38:49] Dr. Gasim Ali Mohamed: Okay, so there's two stories. Okay. One of them is that Hemeti went and threatened the president. The other one is that, no, the military came to him and fired on his main base in Khartoum. And he fired back and he just sent all his troops straight to the military headquarters and surrounded them, where he stays until today.
[00:39:08] The possible story is that the Islamist units that are attached to the regular army, that were put there during the Bashir time, that were not removed. They carry out military missions by themselves. They're like, have the special forces status. They can do whatever that needs to be done, accomplish the political objective of the political party.
[00:39:28] So that's the way they would manipulate the military. And so the going theory is that one of these groups was sent to antagonize Hmeti to get him to come out and to fight. And the military thought they would be able to take care of him in a few days. That was the going consensus. They had the air force, they have those helicopter gunships.
[00:39:47] They thought, well, let's just, you know, if we touch them and then he comes out and he fires, then we're just going to get rid of them. And of course he turned out a lot stronger than they thought. And that's why until today, they're stuck in their military barracks. They can defend themselves, but they're unable to take territory.
[00:40:03] And when they take territory, they can't stay there. And the RSF doesn't. Stay in any territory that it moves into. It's a very mobile and agile form of command. They come in real quick. They have a target, they get their target, they get out real quick and they move quickly using those land cruisers.
[00:40:21] Jordan Harbinger: So, so it sounds like the RSF essentially has blockaded the army inside of their base.
[00:40:27] Is that
[00:40:27] Dr. Gasim Ali Mohamed: accurate? Yes, they blockaded them. And like I told you, the military will hit them really hard. They'll scatter. The military will claim a victory. And then the next day they'll move back in.
[00:40:38] Jordan Harbinger: It's really incredible. So how did this go down for you personally? I know that 3 million something people are displaced.
[00:40:47] I don't know if you call it civil conflict because it doesn't sound like the people themselves are fighting. It sounds like two factions. of these two separate militaries are fighting, but I've seen some accounts of people who are still living there who are not Russian, who are actually Sudanese, still living there who are saying that they're listening for gunfire and they're listening for shelling.
[00:41:06] And that dictates kind of their whole life. They don't sit in the kitchen because there's a big window with no other buildings. It's too dangerous. They can only go grocery shopping at certain times when there's not loud noises of certain kinds of gunfire because the certain kinds of gunfire is the army and certain kinds of gunfire is the RSF.
[00:41:23] And they can only sit in rooms where the window is next to another building so that no shrapnel goes through it. And there was even one woman who said that the RSF knocked on her door and was like, We're taking your house, and they just ransacked everything and left. But they may have even stayed there for a few days.
[00:41:37] It's really... The
[00:41:40] Dr. Gasim Ali Mohamed: scenarios that you were told are correct. This is exactly what I saw and what I hear. Also, there's another element here. That's very important. The regular Sudanese military is a real military military. That's disciplined. They have training in humanitarian law. They understand the rules of war.
[00:41:57] One of the reasons that they're slow. One of their main problems is that with this RSF is that they cannot attack them the way that they need to be attacked and RSF will not come out in the open. They cannot weather a military onslaught using tanks and helicopter gunships and things like that. They've tried to be more strategic in the way that they handle it.
[00:42:19] The RSF, on the other hand, is a very undisciplined. Paramilitary unit. Why are they undisciplined? Because they never officially went to any military school or anything. These are people who were rounded up, given a uniform, giving guns and maybe trained a little bit. And by the way, the Wagner group is responsible for training them.
[00:42:40] They were hanging around the military for some time. And then the military told him, listen, there's this Wagner group. Why don't you hang out with them and why don't you let them train your troops? And that's Hemetis, actually, that's his story, when they asked him, what's your relationship with Wagner? He said, they sent them to me.
[00:42:56] And I let them train my troops. Of course, later on, they also trained him in cyber warfare. They taught him how to use social media and how social media can be manipulated. They taught him a lot of other things in exchange for that gold that he is unable to process, but they can process. So, there's that element that comes into the equation.
[00:43:17] Once you consider that, then who are most people afraid of? Most people are not afraid of the Sudanese military. Most people are afraid of the RSF. Because again, they just have slash and burn techniques. That's all it is. They come into an area, burn it down, use whatever you need to use and move on. The Sudanese military on the other hand, understands that it should not be shelling civilian areas.
[00:43:40] It cannot enter civilian homes. It understands that it does not hit hospitals. So of course, throughout the war, people are siding with the military more because they also see it as a matter of existence. But there's always that voice in the back of people's mind, which is, you're also siding with the Islamists to a certain degree.
[00:43:57] And this is what's causing a lot of discussion on social media today amongst Sudanese about whether to support or not support. Even if you were to say, if you're a conscientious objector, for example, and you said, I'm against war, so I don't want war today in Sudan. Let's just say your patriotic stock would just be a little degraded.
[00:44:15] Right? Because people would assume that you are not standing with the military.
[00:44:19] Jordan Harbinger: What was it like on the day the fighting broke out between the two military organizations?
[00:44:25] Dr. Gasim Ali Mohamed: The first few days, I woke up to the sounds of mortar fire. And mortar, the problem is not only do you hear the bang after it falls, but you hear it when it takes off also.
[00:44:34] It sounds like a little drum. Right. And the thing is, this could be four or five miles away from you, 10 miles away from you. And then there was, of course, the whole, the sound of the jets in the sky, right? This was day one and then this just continued for several days. Nothing fell around me. I felt safe in my neighborhood as much as could be because there are no targets in the area.
[00:44:55] There's no military barracks. There's no police station. There was no security apparatus. There were no Janjaweed, no RSF in the area. We felt pretty secure to a certain level. But of course, with war comes the economy of war, comes the criminality, comes all of the attributes of lawlessness that when you don't have an active police or active emergency system in place.
[00:45:17] And that's when it started to get scary. And soon enough, you started to hear about neighborhoods that were being ransacked and houses that were being ransacked and bodies in the street that weren't being collected and morgues that were filling up. And remember, I work for the International Committee of the Red Cross.
[00:45:30] This is our Field of work, this is where we work. We will not be found in a country that does not have conflict. We're always in a place with conflict. I had been trained to understand how to mitigate risk, how to analyze it, mitigate it, and how to deal with it, and how to remain safe in dangerous situations.
[00:45:47] And I remember I was just sitting there and then I got to a point where I was like, this risk cannot be mitigated. It's just a matter of time. There is just nothing I can do right now. Not locking the doors, sealing them, whatever. None of this will work. Something will land close by. It will take out a part of the house.
[00:46:04] It will take out a balcony. It will injure somebody. Do you have kids? Yes, I do.
[00:46:08] Jordan Harbinger: Well, that'll do it too. I mean, it's, the risk calculation changes dramatically when you're worried about somebody else.
[00:46:14] Dr. Gasim Ali Mohamed: Exactly. And even our organization. We work with the RSF, the ICRC trains them on humanitarian law, it works with the military and humanitarian, it works with the police, it works with the medical services.
[00:46:25] We're entrenched in the country, yet there is no way to get any security guarantee. I mean, this organization has been there since 1978, so that's about 45 years of connections, of people we've met, of people on file. We've been guests of, they've been our guests, programs that we've worked on, and yet at this time, nobody can give you a security guarantee, not even to evacuate your own staff.
[00:46:52] Jordan Harbinger: This is the Jordan Harbinger show with our guest Gassim Mohamed. This is out of the loop on the Sudan crisis. We'll be right back. This episode is sponsored in part by McDonald's, the cornerstone of American culture. I feel like I need to say that in Ronald Reagan voice. Most people don't know that one in eight people in the U.
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[00:49:21] Okay, so they're training you to deal with this, but you're realizing, look, mortars are landing. It's going to get worse. Did you think the RSF would actually come into your house? Were you starting to hear, Hey, they kicked my sister in law's door down. They're going to start invading the neighborhood. Was that on the menu?
[00:49:39] Yeah, that
[00:49:39] Dr. Gasim Ali Mohamed: was definitely on the menu. And worse yet, it was not only will they come into my building. There are nine females and there are two males. And in this situation, sexual violence has always been a tool that's been used against women in these situations. And of course, increasingly against men, by the way, it's not just women.
[00:49:59] In this type of situation, this was one of the first things that came to my mind, which is, what would you do in a situation? If they looked wrong at a woman in the house, I'd have a problem. The best thing to do was to get them out. It's the other people. It's not yourself. Considering that most of the women in the house were between the ages of 18 and 30.
[00:50:17] And they were living alone in two of the apartments. My mother has two apartments upstairs that she was renting to them. So I had to get them out also. It wasn't just myself. And so everybody evacuated and I evacuated, made sure everybody was out, including my brother, my mother. They went off to Rwanda and we were left behind.
[00:50:35] We were waiting for the American response to this. So there had already been the EU countries and Britain had been arranging for evacuation of their people. And we thought a matter of time before the Americans would also give a recommendation to their people. But of course, the first thing, which is the right thing in this type of situation is don't move.
[00:50:56] It's just to sit back, wait a little bit, because movement right now is very dangerous. Nobody knows who's on the street, the corners haven't been taken well, the streets haven't been divided well, so anything can happen. So as we waited for the American response, luckily within a few days we got notice of an EU flight out of a military base that was nearby.
[00:51:15] And this came in three in the morning, and six, seven in the morning we had to be at that base. So we. We had everything packed up. We were ready. We closed down the house and we just headed out to that military base. Along the way, of course, we passed by several RSF checkpoints and we realized that most of the capital was in the hands of the RSF.
[00:51:34] Wow. So wherever we went, we found them. They're sitting there and their trucks are fitted out with 50 calibers. They're fitted out with anti aircraft weapons. And they didn't have a very aggressive attitude towards people on the street, especially if you're in a group, but they would stop you for just about anything.
[00:51:53] They were very paranoid about weapons and they were looking for people. They were looking for the Islamist party members. Gotcha. They were looking for their leaders. And so they would always check your ID, they would check your face, you know, he'd look at you really well. And sometimes he'd look at you and he'd just say, you look familiar, or you look like an Islamist.
[00:52:16] Wait, come here. I want to talk to you. I want to have an interview with you or something. And they take you to their military commands and then you sit down and anything can happen there. We've had drivers in the international community, the Red Cross, who were just driving our vehicles with our flags, with our insignia.
[00:52:31] And they were interrogated for their movements. Even though these are the same people who we were training. These are the same officers who we had training sessions with. And we talked about the humanitarian access and we talked about the insignias and logos of the vehicles and what they mean and the Geneva conventions.
[00:52:50] But even during this time, they would still stop our drivers and our personnel and interrogate them. And that's why it's very difficult for us to have any activity now in Khartoum, especially where the fighting is. And in Darfur.
[00:53:02] Jordan Harbinger: Is that just crazy levels of paranoia, or are they actually trying to intimidate you even though they know you're not doing anything?
[00:53:09] Dr. Gasim Ali Mohamed: thought it was just paranoia, but I think it's also they're trying to get something back from you. One of the things they can get is, remember, they have troops who were taken by the military, who are in their hospitals. And the military has troops who have been taken prisoner of war by this side. The RSF, especially over the past few years, has been trying to Play itself off as a legitimate military, not a paramilitary, not a militia.
[00:53:32] No, but a legitimate military operation. And as you mentioned, they have companies, they have consultants. It's all part of that effort. So they want to come off as being legitimate. They have relations with the EU. The EU was supporting them during the border crisis. Remember, this is the same group of people who were preventing Ethiopians, Eritreans, whatever group of people are trying to pass through Sudan, which is a corridor.
[00:53:56] To the Mediterranean. So what did the EU do? The EU went, supported the border patrols of Sudan, which happened to be under command of the RSF. They told them, look, do your best, please. We don't want these people making it to the Mediterranean because they're drowning in the Mediterranean. It's a very difficult situation.
[00:54:13] They don't have the skills that we need in Europe. Please stop them from coming this way. In return, what did they get? You get nice TV radios, you get some trucks, you get paychecks, you get money. 200 million euros, I think a year was what they were paying for this. I could be wrong, but it's something around 50 to 200 million, something like that.
[00:54:30] This was something that the EU was criticized about later on, by the way, they were being criticized for supporting. A militia that's been indicted on war
[00:54:39] Jordan Harbinger: crimes, right? In order to stop a potential refugee crisis from getting worse, right? Oh man, it's such a rock in a hard place. What do you think about that?
[00:54:48] Just personally being from there, because on the one hand, these are human beings. And on the other hand, you realize you can't have people taking these crowded boats across the sea to get to Europe and then sitting in camps for 10 years. In
[00:55:01] Dr. Gasim Ali Mohamed: Sudan, we have 2 million refugees, starting from the time of the Ethiopian civil war and the Ethiopian famine and Southern Sudan, the civil war in South Sudan and the war in the Central African Republic.
[00:55:14] We have a lot of refugees. There's always two sides to it, right? There's a side that says welcome. And there's a side that says, no, you're not welcome. There's not enough resources in the country. But what I found about refugees is I think the intimidating thing about them is their drive. I think that they come with this drive to work and this willingness to go all out to make an honest living for themselves.
[00:55:34] And I think that intimidates people sometimes and it makes them feel less worthy or maybe. They can't manipulate and they can't control and they can't monopolize as well. I never had a problem personally with them. My family never had a problem with them personally. Even my society, I think in general, are very hospitable to people who come from outside.
[00:55:53] We have Syrians, for example, in Sudan who came with very little and are now established businessmen in the country and they have jobs. But along the way, recently, yes, there are growing voices against that. People are concerned about criminal elements, but criminal elements are the reason these people are leaving.
[00:56:09] They're leaving because of the criminal elements. I don't think that they are residing in a country that is so safe and secure where criminals are like, Oh my God, there's so much justice here and the law's on me, I'm going to get out of here. No, I think it's more like we rule the country. We run the country.
[00:56:22] Now, all of you people who don't have guns. who don't want to live our way of life, you guys get out of the country. So maybe we're getting the better end of the stick.
[00:56:30] Jordan Harbinger: I do worry that this could turn into a full blown proxy war. I don't know if that's overblown. You've got the US, you've got Russia, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Egypt, the UAE, I'm probably forgetting Libya and whoever else.
[00:56:44] What is the world doing for Sudan other than trying to protect their own interests in the country in Potentially a very dangerous way. How do we fix this crisis or is it something the Sudanese have to do themselves?
[00:56:56] Dr. Gasim Ali Mohamed: I think that at this moment in time, there's two aspects to this. Let's look at it from a Sudanese perspective.
[00:57:02] From a Sudanese perspective, the answer to the problem, the solution to the problem, is there. It's known. It's not rocket science. People recognize that the fighting has to stop. A political solution, meaning a solution that solves all of the problems that were left behind by the 30 years of the Islamist dictatorship.
[00:57:22] They have a solution for that. There is an agreement amongst all the civilian components about what needs to be done. That the military needs to come back under civilian rule. That there needs to be a parliament. That there needs to be transitional. Justice, that people who are wanted by the international criminal court need to go to the international criminal court, that justice needs to be served to those people who were violated in the past 32 years now of Islamist slash transitional phase of Sudan.
[00:57:51] Once you have justice, you're going to have a better chance at peace. So people understand that. The question becomes, how do the Sudanese people get rid of the people who have the actual guns? How do you get Hemeti? How do you get Burhan to say, okay, I'm giving up. I will walk away. That cannot be done by the Sudanese people because they're unarmed.
[00:58:13] The only people who could do that is the international community. They're the only ones who have enough clout, enough power, and enough influence on both of them. To tell them, look, I mean, we've been friends this long. Thanks a lot for all of the favors you've done me in the past and the favors I've done you, I think we were even now, but it's time for you to call it quits and I have a plan for you.
[00:58:33] I have this nice retirement plan for you. What you're going to do is you're going to go and you're going to live on this island. Uh, for the next 30 years, and you'll be very happy and everything. And we'll have a truth and reconciliation council sometime in the next 10 to 15 years, where you can come and talk and cry and we'll get together and we'll cry together and we'll say, okay, we did all these bad things.
[00:58:50] And they'll probably let you off the hook. Cause right now there's bigger fish to fry. There's bigger issues to deal with. Something like that has to be done along those lines. Is that happening? I think the Americans and the Saudis have been really putting a lot of pressure, not only in the region, but also on the generals.
[00:59:06] For the need for them to stop fighting and for the need for them to embrace that civilian solution. To come to a conclusion, this has to end. The circle of violence has been continuing for too long. It has to end. I think that they've narrowed down exactly where the problem is. The hardest part was figuring out what the problem is.
[00:59:23] Cause everybody was blaming everybody. And if you're an outsider watching this one day, you're with this person. The next day you're against that person. But now for the first time, it's very clear to the world what the problem is. And the problem is these two people, the remnants of the security apparatus, that's now eating at each other's tails and chasing each other and trying to bring each other down.
[00:59:43] Now, if you leave them together on their own, they may bring themselves down together. And eventually, obviously there's lost a lot of their strength over more than a hundred days now. It's almost four months now, they've influenced each other. They've annihilated a lot of each other's equipment. They've hurt each other.
[00:59:59] They've done a lot of stuff already. If it continues along this path, somewhere down the line, somebody will have to either move out or there will be that power vacuum. The fear is if you have a power vacuum in Sudan, now you're going to go back to that same story in Africa, which is now you have ISIS that will come in.
[01:00:18] You have the Islamic state group that is very active, by the way, in Sub Saharan Africa. You already had a coup a few days ago in Niger, and this is again, is this related to Wagner or not? Again, this comes up. You have Central African Republic also that's not very stable. And so, if you remove these two powers together, now this is a perfect recipe for ISIS to come in.
[01:00:38] Yeah. Because they love chaos.
[01:00:40] Jordan Harbinger: They love chaos, yeah. You're going to have Eritrea fighting with Ethiopia, fighting with ISIS, fighting with... whatever remnants of the Janjaweed or the RSF fighting with whatever remnants of the local security forces fighting with whatever Libyan militia. I mean, it's just the amount of chaos that can happen is, it's hard to overstate how much more messy this could even get than it already is.
[01:01:04] Dr. Gasim Ali Mohamed: It'd be very challenging to bring any form of order back. So this is a chance. By the way, they've been pushing both sides to come to an agreement for the past three months. They've had closed negotiations. The place of the negotiations themselves are not disclosed. This is something that they've been doing quite often now because they found that there has been leaks and these leaks are part of the problem.
[01:01:26] And so they're pushing them towards each other. So that I think is a part of that solution. What else the world can do? The world has to be ready to step in once there's enough security to allow movement of goods and produce and technical expertise. The world has to be ready to come in with a rapid response.
[01:01:47] The reason it has to be rapid is because you have a patient who needs an EMT. It doesn't need somebody who will work on a long term plan. No, it needs immediate solutions to immediate problems and then start to work on the long term plan. And so I think that that's what the world can do. I think a lot of the international organizations have been complaining lately that the funding that they've been requesting has not been available.
[01:02:10] I think so far the funds only 23 to 25 percent of the amounts needed. Have been found or donors have come out and said, okay, they'll pay. But now compare that to the Ukraine crisis, where there was so much funding to Ukraine that a lot of times, a lot of the projects, for example, the recruitment process in Ukraine, the turnover of staff, it's just amazing.
[01:02:30] The amount of money that's available to the Ukraine in the Ukraine crisis is a humongous amount. Organizations have to turn down some of this earmarked funding because they don't have the staff. They don't have the facilities to carry out a lot of these projects. And when you take money, you're responsible.
[01:02:46] You have your donor, you have to come back and report on it. So they can't just take it and say, we couldn't do anything here, take it back. No, you have to accomplish the goals. When we have a problem in Europe, people respond a lot quicker to, and I tell people, look, don't get too angry about that because it's your neighborhood.
[01:03:01] Remember, most donor countries are in Europe, are in the West, and so if it's in their neighborhood, if it's something that close to home, you have to expect that the response, of course, will be more immediate, because they will feel not only the threat. But it's also because they know that area a lot better.
[01:03:16] And the Ukraine crisis is also about Russia moving towards Western Europe. So now it's a direct threat. The people that I talk to, I tell them don't take it too personally, but there is an element also of the fact that if it's far away from me and this is really complicated, Jordan's linking it to me, but it's like through seven or nine different interactions.
[01:03:36] Rather than this one straight linear relationship that I have with Ukraine. This one is going to go around the block plenty of time before that threat makes it. And the thing that we keep saying is actually, you don't, you've already been affected by it. Believe it or not, this little Hametti guy bankrolled the Russian government and the next day he invaded Ukraine.
[01:03:56] So whether you knew him or you didn't know him, now you know him and you know him as being their gold banker. That's what he is.
[01:04:02] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. He's a bag man for the gold. Wow. I really didn't see that one coming. And I really appreciate your expertise on this. It's complicated, but it's not that confusing once you wrap your mind around all of the players involved.
[01:04:14] And you're right, I think a lot of us, especially in the West, are thinking, Oh, it's so far away. We don't do any business there. We get oil from other places. We don't need the gold. We don't need the rare earth metals. This is just something that's not going to be a big deal unless it starts affecting, I don't know, shipping in the Suez.
[01:04:30] But the truth is, you're right. It's already affected us. The reason that Putin was so confident invading Ukraine, one of the reasons is because he had a boatload of gold and a supply that wasn't probably going to be interrupted anytime soon. that was willing to circumvent international sanctions and we're still facing that same problem.
[01:04:47] So Ghassem Mohamed, thank you so much, man. I really appreciate it. Have you ever lived in the United States before, before leaving Sudan?
[01:04:54] Dr. Gasim Ali Mohamed: I was in the U. S. when I was a kid in North Carolina. Spent a few years. Now that I'm back here in Michigan, I haven't been here in decades. I have a, uh, very good family friend who has a house in Grand Blanc in Michigan.
[01:05:08] So he sent me
[01:05:09] Jordan Harbinger: up. Yeah, I'm from Michigan. I know it. Yeah. Wait a minute. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say Sudan is warm, generally, compared to Michigan.
[01:05:17] Dr. Gasim Ali Mohamed: Oh yeah, absolutely. And funny you mention it because, uh, the guy in Djibouti, uh, had this nice jacket and I told him, I think I'm going to need it for Michigan.
[01:05:25] And he looked at me strangely. He said, well, I hope Michigan is not that cold these days. So, of course, when I got here, for me, it was very cold. Apparently, people were out in their Bermudas and enjoying the, uh, the weather.
[01:05:37] Jordan Harbinger: When did you arrive to Michigan?
[01:05:39] Dr. Gasim Ali Mohamed: I got here in May. Bro.
[01:05:41] Jordan Harbinger: You, you are in for a little bit of a surprise.
[01:05:46] When it's about October, November, how, what's the coldest it gets in Sudan? Probably around five degrees. Five degrees Celsius. Let me do a little conversion here for the American in me here. Okay, 41. Okay, that is going to be the high on many days that you see in Michigan. You're going to have days that are well below, let me see.
[01:06:08] Yeah. Negative 10 degrees. We're going
[01:06:11] Dr. Gasim Ali Mohamed: to have to acclimatize to that or else we're going to have to move, yeah?
[01:06:15] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. I'm from Michigan, so I'm not like trying to make your situation sound worse or anything. I just think you're just going to go, wow, I've never felt this cold in my life. It'll be like walking into a freezer, except you have to drive to work in that freezer.
[01:06:30] I want to know what it's like the first time someone scrapes ice off their windshield when they're from literally the middle of sub Saharan Africa. That's the feeling I want to know. I remember those days very clearly. So what are you doing now that you're in the U S are you working? Is your life somewhat back to normal ish?
[01:06:47] Dr. Gasim Ali Mohamed: I'm doing well. And I'm working with a wonderful group at the university of Montana. They, we do a transitional DPT program that we offer at a discounted and we try to improve access to African students. We've been working on that for several years that they were surprised when I came here. I told them I'm here in Michigan and we're also working with the Sudan crisis.
[01:07:04] org. which is an organization that is run by Hima Sharif. We're trying to provide a platform for international donors, international agencies to understand the problem in Sudan, so that they have statistics, they have access to names, to people, to institutions that are working in Sudan, thereby making it a lot easier to facilitate some of the movement of goods and materials in and out of the country.
[01:07:24] Jordan Harbinger: We'll link to that in the show notes. I think it's admirable and Do you have any idea when you'll be able to go home or is that just not even in the cards?
[01:07:31] Dr. Gasim Ali Mohamed: From what I can see right now, I think that in the next year, the war will continue, but the fighting will stop and that may give enough room, at least for me to go back home and clear up things that I wasn't able to clear up before, see what's happened to my house there, see what happened to family.
[01:07:47] But I don't think it'd be inhabitable. I don't think schools will open up as fast. That's going to take a while.
[01:07:53] Jordan Harbinger: Yikes. At least we can look forward to the fighting ending, but you're right. It's going to take a lot more time to get society back on track, and I really applaud people like you for trying to take up the mantle.
[01:08:05] You could easily just say, you know what, I live in the U. S. now, it's not my problem anymore, but that's not what you're doing. So I applaud that. I really do. Thank
[01:08:12] Dr. Gasim Ali Mohamed: you, Jordan. I'm just a small character in a field that's filled with a lot of brilliant men and women who are doing so much for the country, and it could be for many other countries.
[01:08:21] And working in the humanitarian field, I've come across a lot of people who take this not only as a career, but as a message, something that aligns with their values. I'm just very lucky to learn from them and to be around them and to see what they've been able to do. I just hope that we're not doing too little, too late for this situation.
[01:08:39] And I hope that people globally can look at how everything that you do here in the U S or anything that you do in your life somehow has a ripple effect in this world. We've become so connected. Like Theda Grunberg had said, it's just like you can be driving a car here in Michigan, but those emissions are going to be affecting somebody down in Samoa.
[01:08:58] We have to think about really The way that we carry out our behaviors themselves and how we can make the place a better place. And hopefully we can try to be more positive
[01:09:07] Jordan Harbinger: in our lives. Qasim Muhammad, thank you very much. You're about to hear a preview of the Jordan Harbinger Show with Ishmael Beyah, who at the age of 13 was forced to become a child soldier.
[01:09:19] Ishmael Beah: I started when I was 13. The first day that we went to war, I think it was the most terrifying thing that ever happened to me just on the way there. Knowing what we were going to do, but it hasn't yet happened. Having this feeling that I was descending into some kind of darkness, into some place that was gonna chip away from who I had been, that I would no longer get back truly.
[01:09:41] And then there was an ambush and then we started exchanging fire, and people who looked like us were shooting at us. And there was a kid that, when we were training, had looked up to me, he was next to me, and there was an explosion, and his body flew and he was scared, there was blood all over my face. And I just lost it.
[01:10:00] I realized at that moment that, listen, if I don't shoot, I'm gonna end up like everybody else who's been
[01:10:04] Dr. Gasim Ali Mohamed: killed next to me.
[01:10:05] Ishmael Beah: And I started shooting. Shooting to kill! And whatever could get you as high as possible, so you feel like you're kind of in a long nightmare, you took it. That becomes a new reason to fight.
[01:10:17] You didn't want to come down from the high. But there's also, because you're on the high, you also get addicted to the violence itself. So you constantly keep yourself moving, being high, engaging in more violence, until you're removed from it. Which is why sometimes people are shocked when soldiers come back from fighting and they're traumatized, sometimes they shoot themselves, they become violent.
[01:10:37] When you dehumanize it, in reverse you dehumanize yourself, your own spirit, your own being. And it takes a lot of undoing. I was once a kid who loved hip hop, run DMC, LL Cool J, learned Shakespeare, wanted to be an economist, and then I became a soldier. And I started doing things that I didn't think I would ever be able to be in a position to do, but
[01:11:00] Jordan Harbinger: I did them.
[01:11:01] To hear about life in a war zone where he fought for three years before being rescued by UNICEF, check out episode 622 of the Jordan Harbinger Show. Of the Jordan Harbinger Show. Stories like this are always so incredible and tragic. We're dealing with another civil war here, and meanwhile over in Darfur, the killing never stopped.
[01:11:21] First it was the Janjaweed militias, then the RSF, which again is the same group. And they're still fighting an unrest over there. It seems like you just can't catch a break in a lot of these parts of the world. Sudan does have oil and gold and access to the Suez canal. So it's always going to be a juicy spot for other nations to exploit and create and foment this division.
[01:11:40] And so I don't see that going anywhere. This mess certainly this time around also doesn't look like it's going to be cleaned up anytime soon. Again, big thank you to Ghasem Mohamed. All resources mentioned on the show today will be in the show notes on the website at jordanharbinger. com or ask the AI chatbot.
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