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UAE allegedly accused of sending weapons to Sudan

In a troubling report by the Wall Street Journal, the United Arab Emirates has allegedly been accused of sending weapons to Sudan, escalating the ongoing conflict in the country. This revelation has raised concerns about the UAE’s involvement in Sudan and its impact on humanitarian efforts.

According to the WSJ, a cargo plane, believed to be sent by the UAE, landed at Uganda’s main Entebbe airport in early June. The flight records indicated that the purpose of the cargo was to deliver aid to refugees who had fled the conflict in Sudan. However, it was discovered that the plane was carrying crates filled with assault weapons, ammunition, and other small weaponry, instead of the expected food and medical supplies.

Anonymous sources from Africa and the Middle East revealed that these weapons were part of a larger plot orchestrated by the UAE to support Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, the leader of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces in Sudan. Dagalo has been locked in a power struggle with the Sudanese military since April 15th, as both factions vie for control of the country.

What is particularly disturbing is that despite the discovery of the weapons, the Emirati airliner was granted permission to continue its journey to Amdjarass International Airport in eastern Chad. From there, it is believed the weapons were transported across the border into Sudan and handed over to the RSF.

UAE allegedly accused of sending weapons to Sudan
UAE allegedly accused of sending weapons to Sudan.

This alleged involvement of the UAE in providing weapons to a faction involved in internal conflict within Sudan raises serious concerns about the UAE’s commitment to peace and stability in the region. Humanitarian aid is crucial in addressing the needs of those affected by the conflict, and diverting these resources towards arming a faction only exacerbates the suffering of the Sudanese people.

The international community, including the United Nations, must investigate these allegations and hold those responsible accountable for their actions. Providing weapons to a warring faction not only prolongs the conflict but also undermines efforts to achieve a peaceful resolution.

In a recent article by The Wall Street Journal, it was seemingly confirmed by an African source and a former US official that trucks carrying Emirati military supplies left Amdjarass airport in the last week of July for Sudan’s Al-Zarq region, which is known to be a stronghold of the Rapid Support Forces in northern Darfur. What is particularly concerning about this shipment is not only that it was allowed to pass through unhindered, but also that Ugandan officials were reportedly ordered to stop checking flights coming in from the UAE.

According to one of the officials, “We are not allowed to inspect these planes anymore. They are now the responsibility of the defence ministry. We have been warned not to take any pictures.” This raises serious questions about the transparency and accountability of both the Emirati and Ugandan governments. It is alarming to think that military supplies could be flowing into a conflict zone without any oversight or scrutiny.

UAE allegedly accused of sending weapons to Sudan
UAE allegedly accused of sending weapons to Sudan.

The UAE, in response to the WSJ’s revelations, has only offered a vague statement expressing support for a peaceful resolution to the conflict in Sudan and claiming to provide humanitarian support. This includes the construction of a field hospital in neighbouring Chad and the provision of around 2,000 metric tons of humanitarian goods to refugees and those affected by the conflict. However, there are reports suggesting that some of this aid was meant to be on the plane in question.

An RSF official has vehemently denied receiving weapons or other military supplies from the UAE and has also denied accusations of human rights violations. However, given the lack of transparency surrounding this situation, it is difficult to fully trust these assertions. The international community must demand greater accountability and transparency from all parties involved, especially when it comes to the flow of arms into conflict zones.

The conflict in Sudan has been ongoing for several years, with numerous militias and armed groups vying for control of the country’s resources and power. The RSF, in particular, has been accused of committing human rights abuses against civilians, including rape, extrajudicial killings, and forced displacement. To think that this group, or any other armed group, may be receiving military supplies from foreign governments is deeply troubling.

The recent disclosure of Abu Dhabi equipping the RSF highlights the ongoing engagement of this Gulf state in the Sudan conflict. Previous reports suggested its support for the Sudanese paramilitary group, which potentially exacerbated the violence. This conflict has had devastating consequences, claiming the lives of over 3,900 individuals and forcing millions to flee within and beyond Sudan.

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