Sudanese general accuses UAE of supplying paramilitary RSF

Families escaping Ardamata in West Darfur cross into Adre, Chad, after a wave of ethnic violence, November 7, 2023. Survivors recounted executions and looting in Ardamata, which they said were carried out by RSF and allied Arab militias. REUTERS/El Tayeb Siddig/File Photo
Families escaping Ardamata in West Darfur cross into Adre

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been openly accused of involvement in Sudan’s conflict with its formidable paramilitary foe for the first time, according to a senior Sudanese officer who stated that the UAE is delivering supplies to the Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

In the seven-month-long conflict, which has resulted in the displacement of over six million people and prompted waves of ethnically motivated massacres in Darfur, the chiefs of the army had previously only hinted at the possibility of intervention from neighboring nations that remained nameless.

In a video that Reuters saw on social media, General Yassir al-Atta made these comments. He was speaking to members of the General Intelligence Service in Omdurman. “We have information from intelligence, military intelligence, and the diplomatic circuit that the UAE sends planes to support the Janjaweed,” he said.

It was Arab militias known as the Janjaweed that assisted the Sudanese army in putting down a revolt in Darfur in the 2000s. These militias eventually gave rise to the RSF.

An official from the United Arab Emirates stated, in response to a request for comment, that the United Arab Emirates has “consistently called for de-escalation, a ceasefire, and the initiation of diplomatic dialogue” in Sudan since the beginning of the war.

As part of its efforts to ease the humanitarian situation in Sudan and neighboring countries, it also offered humanitarian assistance, including establishing a field hospital in the city of Amdjarass in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in July, according to the official.

Atta reported that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) had provided the RSF with unidentified supplies through Uganda, the Central African Republic (CAR), and Chad. The report arrived this week through the airport in Ndjamena, the capital of Chad. Previously, it had arrived through Amdjarass.

Atta lauded Russia for its involvement in the elimination of the Wagner Group, a paramilitary organization that, according to him, had facilitated supplies via CAR. The RSF has disputed links to the organization.

“We warn any country that participates in supporting this rebellion that what goes around comes around,” Atta warned amid the shouts of intelligence officials. “What goes around comes right back around.”

After the RSF had gained momentum in the battle and dislodged the army from four states in the Darfur area, these statements were made. Almost immediately after the conflict began, the RSF seized control of the majority of Khartoum, the capital city.

There have been reports from witnesses that the RSF has utilized drones and weaponry that are more modern than what it had at the beginning of the battle. According to representatives from the RSF, the force reportedly took the weapons from army bases.

In a statement, Uganda’s state minister for international affairs referred to Atta’s assertions as “absolute rubbish.” Requests for comment in Sudan’s army, Chad, and the Central African Republic were not immediately met with a response.

The army published a video of Atta’s speech, and it looked like any reference to the United Arab Emirates had been taken away.

Atta is a deputy to General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the chief of the Egyptian army. General al-Burhan recently declared that he would be traveling to the United Arab Emirates for the first time since the beginning of the conflict. This trip will coincide with the United Nations Climate Summit (COP28), which will occur the following week.

While the United Arab Emirates (UAE) supported the failed political transition in Sudan that occurred following the toppling of Omar al-Bashir in 2019, it has maintained a public silence over the conflict.

Along with investments in agriculture and other industries, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) struck an agreement last year to construct a port on the shore of the Red Sea in Sudan. In addition to that, it is a significant destination for gold from Sudan.


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