Sudan Airlifts Hundreds of Darfuri Recruits to UAE, Bound for the Yemen War

Southern Sudanese soldiers patrol the streets of the southern capital Juba. A fresh disarmament drive has been launched aimed to seize illegally held weapons

Darfur — Last week hundreds of Darfuris were reportedly transported from El Geneina airport in West Darfur to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in two large aircraft, for military training. They will then be deployed by Sudan in the war in Yemen.

Informed sources in El Geneina told Radio Dabanga that the recruitment process is carried out by officers of the UAE.

According to the sources, each recruit who is fit to fight and is no more than 30 years old would be given SDG1 million (*$55,000) in advance to sign a service contract for a period of five years.

The sources said that last week two large aircraft loaded with hundreds of soldiers of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) government militia were flown to Yemen after receiving military training in camps in West and Central Darfur.

Hundreds of recruits have already been flown from Nyala airport to Saudi Arabia after being recruited by Saudi officers at Mural Hotel.

The recruits were reportedly each handed an initial advance payment of SDG 830,000 ($45,700) before travelling to Saudi Arabia where they would be trained for military service.

The Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) faction headed by Malik Agar said that the RSF have sent a force to Blue Nile and had begun recruiting in Nuba Mountains.

Yesterday the movement appealed in a statement "to the Sudanese and the people of the Two Areas to organise a broad campaign to reject the recruitment of the people of these regions into the RSF, reject the deployment of these forces there, and to decisively confront the plunder of the resources for the interest of the regime."

Yemen conflict

There have been demands from within Sudan and abroad to withdraw Sudanese troops from the war in Yemen, especially following reports that on 10 April three senior Sudanese officers and dozens of soldiers were killed during a battle in northern Yemen, in the desert of Medi. Dozens more soldiers were wounded.

Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour, confirmed after meeting with ambassadors of the Arab coalition countries in Yemen (Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Egypt), continued participation in the coalition forces and support of the efforts to restore stability in Yemen.

The ambassadors conveyed their condolences to the families of the fallen, and their wishes for healing the wounded of the recent operations in Yemen.

Minister of Defence Ali Salim told MPs in a closed session during which he presented his Ministry's statement on the country's security situation in Parliament that "This is not the first time for the Sudanese forces to participate in a war outside the country. He justified that participation as natural.

* Based on the official US Dollar rate quoted by the Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS)

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