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UAE denies allegations of sending weapons to Sudan

The United Arab Emirates has vehemently denied allegations that it sent weapons to Sudan. In the midst of a conflict that has claimed the lives of thousands of people, the UAE insists that it remains neutral and does not take sides in the Sudanese war.

Since April 15, fighting between Sudanese generals has resulted in a significant number of casualties. The Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project estimates that the death toll is at least 3,900.

This conflict has attracted the support of foreign powers, with neighbouring Egypt backing army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and the UAE reportedly providing support for his former deputy, Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, who commands the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces.

However, the UAE has refuted claims that it supplied arms and ammunition to any of the warring parties in Sudan. According to the UAE’s foreign ministry communications director, Afra Al Hameli, “the UAE has not supplied arms and ammunition to any of the warring parties in Sudan since the outbreak of the conflict.”

The allegations arose from a report published by the Wall Street Journal on Thursday. The report cited officials in Uganda who claimed to have discovered weapons on an Emirati aid flight to Sudanese refugees in Chad on June 2. In response, Al Hameli expressed the UAE’s “categorical refutation of the claims and allegations in the story.”

UAE denies allegations of sending weapons to Sudan
UAE denies allegations of sending weapons to Sudan.

The UAE firmly asserts that it does not take sides in the conflict and is calling for an end to the hostilities, emphasising the importance of respecting Sudan’s sovereignty.

According to a recent report by the Wall Street Journal, a disturbing discovery was made by Ugandan officials regarding an Emirati plane that had landed in Entebbe on its way to Chad. The aircraft’s manifest listed food and medical supplies as its cargo, but upon inspection, officials found green plastic crates filled with ammunition, assault rifles, and other small arms instead.

This shocking revelation raises several important questions. How did such a significant discrepancy occur between the listed cargo and the actual contents of the plane? Additionally, why was this Emirati plane allowed to continue its journey to Amdjarass International Airport in Chad, despite the presence of illicit weapons on board?

The Ugandan officials, as cited in the Wall Street Journal report, claimed that they received orders from their superiors to stop inspecting flights from the United Arab Emirates after this incident. This raises further concerns about potential complicity or oversight in allowing weapons to be transported to conflict-stricken regions like Chad.

The war in Sudan has resulted in the displacement of nearly four million people, according to the United Nations. The UAE, being an oil-rich nation, has been providing aid, including medications, in the region. They have also been involved in evacuating foreigners from the conflict zones. However, the discovery of arms on a plane intended for humanitarian aid raises serious questions about the intentions and actions of the UAE.

This incident highlights the urgent need for transparency and scrutiny in international aid efforts. It is crucial that humanitarian aid is not misused or exploited to fuel conflicts or exacerbate tensions in volatile areas. The discovery of weapons on an aid plane is a blatant violation of trust and undermines the very purpose of humanitarian assistance.

AFP contributed to this report. 

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