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Sudan demands emergency UN Security Council meeting on UAE ‘aggression’

Sudanese security forces patrol in a commercial district in Gedaref city in eastern Sudan on April 3, 2024. (Photo by AFP)

The government of Sudan’s de facto leader Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan has requested an emergency United Nations Security Council meeting to address what was described as the United Arab Emirates' (UAE)'s “aggression against the Sudanese people.

The UAE government is allegedly backing the paramilitary group battling the Sudanese army, providing it with military and financial aid.

Sudan's regular army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) led by Burhan's former deputy, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, have been in a power struggle in the African country since last year.

So far, the government remains in control of most of the Nile Valley and the country’s eastern provinces and ports, while the RSF wields control over most of the oil-rich Darfur region, most of the capital region and parts of North and West Kordofan.

“Yesterday, our permanent representative to the United Nations submitted a request for an urgent session of the Security Council to discuss the UAE’s aggression against the Sudanese people, and the provision of weapons and equipment to the terrorist militia,” a Sudanese diplomatic source told AFP.

The country’s official SUNA news agency confirmed that Sudan’s UN representative, Al-Harith Idriss, had submitted the government's request to the UN Security Council.

However, the UAE has denied backing the RSF in its war against the Sudanese government.

In a letter to the Security Council last week, the UAE foreign ministry rejected Sudan’s accusations against the Persian Gulf Arab country.

It said the Sudanese government's accusations against the UAE were “spurious (and) unfounded, and lack any credible evidence to support them.”

However, a leaked UN report pointed to “credible” evidence that proved the UAE was providing military support to the RSF.

In this regard, the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Turk, expressed “grave concern” over escalating fighting in Sudan’s North Darfur region and warned against the possibility of an imminent offensive by the RSF and allied militias on El Fasher, the last Darfur state capital not yet under RSF's control, and where a large number of refugees are being kept.

Turk "is gravely concerned by the escalating violence in and around El Fasher city, North Darfur, where dozens of people have been killed in the past two weeks," a statement from his office said.

The statement said the UN rights chief is afraid the civilians trapped in the city could be killed should they attempt to flee.

"This dire situation is compounded by a severe shortage of essential supplies as deliveries of commercial goods and humanitarian aid have been heavily constrained by the fighting, and delivery trucks are unable to freely transit through RSF-controlled territory," it added.

Turk called for an immediate de-escalation and an end to the conflict, as well as an "investigation into all alleged violations and abuses of international human rights law and international humanitarian law," the statement said.

El Fasher functions as the main humanitarian hub in the western region of Darfur, home to around a quarter of Sudan's 48 million people. The city, until recently, had been relatively unaffected by the fighting across the country.

Since fighting began between the army and RSF on April 15, 2023, millions of people have been displaced in Sudan. Both the army and the RSF have been accused by human rights groups inside and outside the African country of war crimes, including targeting civilians, torturing prisoners, and indiscriminate shelling of residential areas across Sudan.

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