Despite the military takeover in Sudan on Monday, Nureldin Satti, Sudan’s ambassador to the United States, remains in his post and vows to continue working with U.S. officials. In an interview with VOA’s Nabeel Biajo, Satti said that he rejects the military moves and is coordinating with Sudanese diplomats around the world to mount pressure on Sudan’s military leaders to restore the civilian-led government.
The interview was edited for brevity and clarity.
VOA: What is your position regarding the military takeover in Sudan?
Satti: I reject the military coup that was orchestrated on October 25. … I shall be working with my colleagues in the diplomatic service and with the diaspora around the United States and around the world to see to it that this coup is not accepted, and that the coup intentions and results be reversed as soon as possible.
VOA: Have you received any instructions from Sudan whether you should continue serving as Sudan ambassador?
Satti: No, no. Nothing.
VOA: The government that appointed you has been toppled. What is your next move?
Satti: Well, my next move is to continue serving as ambassador of the Sudanese people and ambassador of Sudan in the country as long as it takes. I shall remain in position to defend the principles of the government that has been toppled illegally by the military. And I consider myself as being the ambassador of a country and not under a regime.
VOA: If General Abdel-Fattah Burhan decides to fire you and appoint a new diplomatic mission, let’s say in the U.S, will you defy the order and refuse to abandon your post?
Satti: I will, you know, cross that bridge when I come to it. I cannot foretell what will be my reaction. It depends on the conditions that will prevail from now until that decision, and things are going to be much more complicated than that. In order for him to appoint a new diplomatic mission, it will be an issue. … It’s not going to be easy for this regime … to appoint a new ambassador to the United States.
VOA: So, you’re saying they have power, but they don’t have legitimacy?
VOA: You mentioned that you have joined other diplomats in other capitals to resist what is happening in Sudan. What are you doing exactly?
Satti: I am talking regularly to U.S. officials. Today, I spoke to staffers from the [U.S.] Senate and officers from the State Department. Yesterday, I spoke to the assistant secretary for African affairs at the State Department. I continue to engage, you know, the U.S. administration and Congress and to explain the position. And I have to say that there is overwhelming support to my position and that of my colleagues who have taken the same position. … I engage, of course, with the diaspora, and I had a meeting with the representatives of the diaspora in the United States yesterday. It was a very good meeting, and we agreed to work together. And I believe that my colleagues also in other embassies, like the one in Brussels, and in Paris, in Geneva, in Beijing, in South Africa and in New York are doing the same thing.
VOA: When you meet with U.S. officials, what are you asking them to do?
Satti: I am asking them to put pressure on the coup perpetrators in order to reverse the action that they have taken, and to take the country back to where it was 48 hours ago and to accept to engage wholeheartedly with the civilian component in order to take the country out of this crisis. A military coup has never resolved problems. It is only adding to our problems and complicating things for us. So, that’s the message that I’m passing here. The United States [has] to put pressure on the coup plotters in order to change. … We have nothing against the military, but our problem is certain people in the military who do not want this revolution to move forward.