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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Sudan dispatched 600 militiamen, mostly minors, to Yemen in April: Report

Iran Press TV

Sat May 18, 2019 01:24PM

Sudan has dispatched scores of militiamen, most of them under the age of 18, to fight alongside Saudi-led military forces against Yemen's Houthi Ansarullah fighters, a report says.

The Arabic-language Sout al-Hamish daily newspaper, citing an unnamed informed source, reported on Saturday that 600 Sudanese fighters had been flown late last month from Nyala Airport in southwestern Sudan to Yemen.

The source added that the Sudanese fighters had received training for only four months at the Dumaya camp in Nyala, the paratrooper training camp in the capital Khartoum as well as the al-Jili camp north of Khartoum before being sent to battle fronts in Yemen.

Even though Sudan's long-time President Omar al-Bashir was toppled in April after months of public protests, the military council that runs the country follows suit and continues to dispatch soldiers to fight at the front line of war in Yemen.

Almost all the Sudanese fighters appear to come from the battle-scarred and impoverished region of Darfur, where some 300,000 people were apparently killed and 1.2 million displaced during a dozen years of conflict over diminishing arable land and other scarce resources.

Most of the militia belong to paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, a tribal militia previously known as the Janjaweed.

There are reports that Sudanese fighters are sent to battles in the Midi Desert of the northwestern Yemeni province of Hajjah, the Khalid bin Walid camp in Ta'izz, or around Aden and Hudaydah.

All of those interviewed by foreign media outlets confirm that they have fought in Yemen only for money, as they were paid in Saudi riyals. Payments to the mercenaries are said to be deposited directly into the Faisal Islamic Bank of Sudan, which is partly owned by Saudis.

Last November, the spokesman for Yemen's Ansarullah movement, Mohammed Abdul-Salam, referred to the deaths of several Sudanese mercenaries in the strategic western Yemeni province of Hudaydah, saying they were "victims of their government being on the payroll in a cruel and senseless war."

Abdul-Salam warned that Yemen would turn into a "graveyard" for invaders.

Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the government of former Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power and crushing Ansarullah movement.

According to a December 2018 report by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, the Saudi-led war has claimed the lives of over 60,000 Yemenis since January 2016.

The war has also taken a heavy toll on the country's infrastructure, destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The UN said in a report in December 2018 that over 24 million Yemenis are in dire need of humanitarian aid, including 10 million suffering from extreme levels of hunger.

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