UAE sending weapons to Sudan instead of humanitarian aid, report reveals

Spread the love

Workers unload aid supplies upon the landing of an Emirati aircraft at Port Sudan airport on May 10, 2023, as violence between two rival Sudanese generals continues. [MOHAMAD ALI HARISSI/AFP via Getty Images]

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has reportedly been supplying weapons to Sudan instead of humanitarian aid, further implicating it in the continuation of conflict within the country.

According to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), a cargo plane landed in Uganda’s main Entebbe airport in early June this year, with flight records indicating that it had been sent by the UAE and was carrying aid for refugees who had fled the conflict in Sudan.

Instead of the food and medical aid that they expected, however, Ugandan authorities were cited in the report as recounting that they discovered dozens of crates in the aircraft’s cargo that contained assault weapons, ammunition, and other small weaponry.

The report cited anonymous African and Middle Eastern sources as saying that the weapons found in that incident were part of a plot by the UAE to back Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, the warlord who leads the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in Sudan and who has been vying for control of the country against the Sudanese military since 15 April.

According to the Ugandan officials cited by the paper, the Emirati airliner was granted permission to continue its journey to eastern Chad’s Amdjarass International Airport despite the discovery of the weapons stockpile, where the cargo was supposedly transported over the border into Sudan and into the hands of the RSF.

READ: Are Saudi Arabia and the UAE leading the way to a new order in the Middle East?

That was seemingly confirmed by an African source and a former US official, who told the paper that trucks carrying Emirati military supplies left Amdjarass airport in the last week of July for Sudan’s Al-Zarq region which is an RSF stronghold in northern Darfur.

Such a shipment was not only allowed to pass through unhindered, but the Ugandan officials’ superiors also reportedly gave them orders to stop checking flights coming in from the UAE.

“We are not allowed to inspect these planes anymore. They are now the responsibility of the defense ministry”, said one of the officials. “We have been warned not to take any pictures.”

In response to the WSJ‘s revelations, the UAE merely stated that it supports a peaceful resolution to the conflict in Sudan and that it “seeks to provide all forms of support to alleviate humanitarian suffering.” Such humanitarian support reportedly includes a field hospital that it built in neighbouring Chad and the provision of around 2,000 metric tons of humanitarian goods to refugees and those affected by the conflict, such as that aid which was meant to be in that aforementioned plane.

An RSF official was also quoted as insisting that the group does not receive weapons or other military supplies from the UAE, and that its fighters have not engaged in human rights violations.

Abu Dhabi’s reported arming of the RSF is the latest revelation of the small Gulf state’s involvement in the conflict in Sudan, and comes after previous reports of its backing of the Sudanese paramilitary group that may have itself ignited the fighting, which has so far resulted in the killing of over 3,900 people and the displacement of millions within the country and beyond its borders.

Post Disclaimer

Disclaimer: UAE sending weapons to Sudan instead of humanitarian aid, report reveals - Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect point-of-view

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *