Sudan denies presence of Russian mercenaries
Sudan has denied the presence of Russian private military contractor in the country.
This follows a joint statement by British, American and Norwegian envoys that Wagner Group personnel had been engaged in social media disinformation campaigns and illegal gold mining in Sudan.
“The Sudanese government wishes to deny [these reports] in totality,” Sudan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
The authorities accused the Western diplomats of attempting to draw Sudan into the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.
Recently, Sudan’s deputy leader, Gen Mohamed Hamdan “Hemeti” Dagalo visited Moscow.
Russia’s mercenaries have been accused of committing human rights abuses in the Central African Republic.
Western countries have said that the Wagner mercenaries had been deployed in Mali.
The paramilitary group has thousands of fighters in Libya, where its mercenaries have been backing renegade general, Khalifa Haftar, against forces loyal to the UN-backed government in Tripoli.
Sudanese military leaders have maintained strong relations with Russia since long-time President Omar al-Bashir, an ally of Moscow, was toppled in April 2019 after mass protests against his rule.
In a meeting with President Vladimir Putin in the Black Sea resort of Sochi in 2017, al-Bashir sought Moscow’s protection from what he called “aggressive acts of the United States”.