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Sudan to reconsider its participation in Yemen war

May 4 - 2018 KHARTOUM
Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir (second right, blue cap) with Sudanese military forces in Khartoum, Sudan on 9 April 2017 (Ebrahim Hamid / Anadolu Agency)
Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir (second right, blue cap) with Sudanese military forces in Khartoum, Sudan on 9 April 2017 (Ebrahim Hamid / Anadolu Agency)

On Wednesday the Ministry of Defence said that it is evaluating the participation of its troops in the war in Yemen. A number of opposition parties remain critical of Sudan’s military activities in Yemen.

State Minister at the Ministry of Defence, Ali Salim said that his country is now studying an assessment of the participation of Sudanese forces in the mostly Gulf Arab alliance fighting the Iran-allied Houthi movement. The coalition includes the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Senegal which Sudan has joined since 2015.

The ministry will evaluate the legitimacy of Sudan’s support to the alliance, to find the results, negative and positive aspects, and will then take a decision soon, according to minister Salim.

He told reporters in the Parliament on Wednesday that the study “is being prepared by the Ministry of Defence and the joint chiefs of staff.

“We will ultimately decide what is in the interests of the country, its security, stability and dignity, while at the same time fulfilling our international and regional obligations.”

Not in the interest of the Sudanese’

Yesterday the Sudanese Communist Party renewed its rejection of the participation of the Sudanese army in the war in Yemen and called for its immediate withdrawal. Siddig Yousef, leading member of the party, told Radio Dabanga: “If we accept the participation of our army in Yemen that means we agree to the intervention of troops from another country in Sudan.”

Also the National Umma Party (NUP) opposes the military activities. The political bureau of the party pointed out that this transition “is not in the interest of the Sudanese people and the region”.

Dr Hasan Bashir, professor of economics at the University of El Nilein, said that the impact of Sudan’s participation in the war on the economic side has not been not clear.

“The details of the operation of Hasm Storm are still in confidential political relations between Sudan and Saudi Arabia that have not been announced so far,” Bashir told Radio Dabanga. He pointed to the weak contribution of the Gulf countries in the alliance, in terms of investments.

Opposition has grown

A week ago independent members of the Sudanese parliament called on President Omar Al Bashir to withdraw the country’s forces fighting in Yemen. “Dispatching Sudanese army soldiers and members of the Rapid Support Forces [Sudan’s main militia] is an unconstitutional measure, and carried out without having been remitted to the Parliament,” their statement says.

Also the Reform Now Movement has renewed its demand for the immediate withdrawal of Sudanese forces from Yemen, describing their stay there as unjustified and contrary to the Constitution in April.

Days earlier former Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour confirmed Sudan’s continued participation in the coalition forces, after meeting with ambassadors of the Arab coalition countries in Yemen (Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Egypt). The next week, Ghandour was fired by his president Omar Al Bashir, for publicly criticising the financial situation of the country’s diplomatic corps.

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