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Sudan expels 15 UAE diplomats over support for RSF

December 11, 2023 at 12:03 pm

A view of streets as clashes continue between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) despite the agreement on cease fire in Khartoum, Sudan on April 30, 2023 [Ömer Erdem/Anadolu Agency]

Sudan yesterday ordered 15 Emirati diplomats to leave the country amid accusations that the UAE is supporting the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitary group, Anadolu reported citing the state news agency SUNA.

The Sudanese Foreign Ministry summoned UAE Chargé d’Affaires Badria Alshihi and informed her of the decision to expel 15 diplomats, SUNA said.

No reason was provided for the expulsion, but it came amid rising tensions between Khartoum and Abu Dhabi over perceived Emirati support for the RSF.

There was no comment yet from the Emirati authorities on the Sudanese decision.

Last week, Yassir Alatta, a member of Sudan’s ruling Sovereign Council, accused the UAE of providing the RSF with weapons and logistics through neighbouring countries, including Uganda, the Central African Republic (CAR) and Chad.

Read: Leaders of East African bloc hold summit on Sudan crisis

Following Alatta’s accusations, hundreds demonstrated in Port Sudan against the UAE, demanding the expulsion of its ambassador.

Sudan has been mired by fighting between the army, led by General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, head of the ruling Sovereign Council, and the RSF.

At least 12,260 people have been killed and more than 33,000 injured in the conflict, according to UN figures.

In August, the Wall Street Journal, citing Ugandan officials, said weapons were found onboard an Emirati cargo plane that was supposedly transporting humanitarian aid to Sudanese refugees in Chad. The UAE denied the claim.

A humanitarian crisis continues to worsen as nearly 6.8 million people have fled their homes seeking safety in Sudan or neighbouring countries.

Several ceasefire agreements brokered by Saudi and the US have failed to end the violence.