top of page

Source: AFP

Feb 21, 2024

US Voices Alarm On Alleged Iran Role In Sudan

By AFP - Agence France Presse

The United States voiced concern Wednesday at reported arms shipments by adversary Iran to Sudan's army, which is locked in a deadly war with paramilitaries allegedly receiving Emirati and Russian support.

John Godfrey, the US ambassador to Sudan, said Washington was "deeply concerned by external support" to both the Sudan Armed Forces and rival Rapid Support Forces, known by the acronyms SAF and RSF.

"There are reports about resumed ties between Sudan and Iran that could reportedly include Iranian materiel support to SAF, which is also very troubling and a source of great concern for us," Godfrey told reporters.

Without naming other countries, Godfrey said the United States has "urged external actors to refrain from providing materiel support to the two belligerent parties."

"It prolongs the fighting, extends the war. It also reduces the prospects for finding a negotiated exit from the conflict," he said.

The RSF last month posted on social media what it said was debris from an Iranian-made Mohajer drone belonging to the army.

Bloomberg News also reported, quoting Western officials, that Iran is supplying weapons to Sudan's army.

Sudan under former dictator Omar al-Bashir, who was toppled in 2019, developed close relations with Iran's clerical state.

With the Sudanese army in control along the Red Sea, a large Iranian presence would alarm Western powers as Yemen's dominant Huthi insurgents, on the other side of the key maritime transit lane, have been firing on international shipping in avowed solidarity with the Palestinians.

A UN expert report last month cited credible evidence that the United Arab Emirates was funneling military support through Chad to the RSF, which had sent fighters to back the Emirati and Saudi campaign in Yemen against the Huthis.

Sudan in December expelled 15 UAE diplomats and General Yasser al-Atta, the army's second-in-command, has denounced the Gulf power as a "state mafia" for supporting the RSF.

The UAE has denied taking sides in the conflict.

Egypt and Turkey have also backed the army, while the RSF has faced wide accusations of collaboration with Russia's Wagner mercenaries.

Thousands have died since war erupted in April last year between the dueling generals.

The United States, which has led unsuccessful negotiations between the two sides, has accused both of war crimes and accused the RSF of ethnic cleansing against ethnically African people in Darfur, an echo of a scorched-earth campaign in the region two decades ago.

bottom of page