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Protesting normalization in Khartoum. Photo: Abbas M. Idris/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Khartoum —Sudan's transitional government is on the verge of collapse, but Trump’s decision to remove Sudan from the U.S. list of states that sponsor terrorism could prevent that grim scenario.

The big picture: The country is virtually bankrupt. There are long queues at petrol stations and bakeries as the country grapples with severe flour and gasoline shortages. Electricity outages are back as temperatures continue to hover around 100℉.

The state of play: The government is very concerned that the current frustration among the Sudanese people could lead to widespread demonstrations.

  • Protests brought down ex-president Omar al-Bashir’s regime last year. There is genuine fear among Sudanese officials that similar protests may lead to the downfall of the government that replaced him.

The backstory: Removal from the U.S. terror list had been expected ever since the former regime was toppled.

  • There is a sense of betrayal in Sudan that the U.S. kept dragging its feet on the issue, in particular by linking it to normalization with Israel, something that has long been considered a taboo in Sudan.
  • However, many Sudanese feel their situation is too dire to remain dogmatic about ties with the Jewish state, even if they remain wholly sympathetic with the plight of the Palestinians.
  • If the road toward lifting sanctions and economic prosperity is normalization, then so be it.

What's happening: There are forces in Sudan — particularly Islamists and remnants of the previous regime — who use normalization as a rallying cry in their attempts to topple the government.

  • The governing council's military faction, led by Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, has been eager to seal the deal with Israel.
  • Fearing the domestic backlash, however, Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok was adamant that a sizable incentive was needed in order to sell normalization to the public.
  • More recently, he seems to have softened his stance and accepted a watered-down deal.

What’s next: The onus is now on the U.S. to move quickly to keep its end of the bargain and help keep the forces who seek to turn back the clock at bay.

Editor's note: This piece was written for the Axios from Tel Aviv newsletter. The author is the former deputy editor of the Sudan Tribune.

Go deeper

The only Trump foreign policy Biden wants to keep

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Joe Biden disagrees with most of President Trump's foreign policy initiatives, but several of his advisers tell Axios that there is one he plans to keep: the Abraham Accords.

Why it matters: Continuing to push the Abraham Accords — the biblical branding the administration has given to the individual normalization agreements between Israel and Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates — could help Biden build positive relationships with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other leaders in the Persian Gulf.

Harry and Meghan accuse British royal family of racism

Photo: Joe Pugliese/Harpo Productions via Reuters

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle delivered a devastating indictment of the U.K. royal family in their conservation with Oprah Winfrey: Both said unnamed relatives had expressed concern about what the skin tone of their baby would be. And they accused "the firm" of character assassination and "perpetuating falsehoods."

Why it matters: An institution that thrives on myth now faces harsh reality. The explosive two-hour interview gave an unprecedented, unsparing window into the monarchy: Harry said his father and brother "are trapped," and Markle revealed that the the misery of being a working royal drove her to thoughts of suicide.

Updated 4 hours ago - Axios Twin Cities

In photos: Thousands rally for George Floyd ahead of Derek Chauvin's trial

Demonstrators on March 7 outside the Hennepin County Government Center, where the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, charged with murdering George Floyd, will begin in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

Thousands of protesters marched through Minneapolis' streets Sunday, urging justice for George Floyd on the eve of the start of former police officer Derek Chauvin's trial over the 46-year-old's death, per AFP.

The big picture: Chauvin faces charges for second-degree murder and manslaughter over Floyd's death last May, which ignited massive nationwide and global protests against racism and for police reform. His trial is due to start Monday, with jury selection procedures.