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EU Parliamentarians Denounce UAE’s Funding of Alleged ‘War Crimes’ in Sudan’

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European parliamentarians condemned the UAE for financing “war crimes and rape” in Sudan, which has been witnessing internal fighting since April 15, 2023.
Ongoing internal conflict persists between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces, backed by political, military, and financial aid from the UAE, as confirmed by Sudanese authorities and official reports from the United States and Europe.
The Strasbourg Policy Center, a prominent forum for global policy deliberations, hosted a dialogue session titled “Examining the UAE’s Alleged Involvement in Sudan’s Conflict,” as reported by the European Observatory on Middle East Affairs.
At this gathering, a panel of distinguished European experts explored the intricate dynamics surrounding the UAE’s purported role in Sudan’s civil war.
The speakers thoroughly explored the multifaceted aspects of the UAE’s role in the conflict through meticulous deliberation and thorough analysis, emphasizing its strategic objectives and operational tactics.
The first speech was given by Giovanni Baretta, a parliamentary collaborator in the Senate and the House of Representatives and European affairs specialist from Italy.
Baretta stated that it is important for regional and international countries to stop fueling the conflict in Sudan, pointing out that the UAE is working to undermine Sudan’s stability by supporting the leader of the Rapid Support Forces, Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo “Hemetti”, who is attacking the legitimate government.
He also mentioned that the complexities of the conflict in Sudan, where various factions compete for power amid deep-rooted grievances, require a careful approach, including preventing external involvement such as that of the UAE in supporting specific individuals.

He cautioned about Sudan’s turbulent past, where prolonged civil wars caused immense suffering, displacing millions and leaving lasting scars on society. With Sudan’s delicate transition to democracy underway, any potential triggers for renewed conflict require careful consideration.
Luca Antonio Pepe, an expert in international relations and parliamentary collaborator, expressed concerns about the UAE’s backing of the Rapid Support Forces in Sudan’s civil war, which has been criticized for exacerbating violence.
He highlighted that the UAE’s support for Rapid Support Forces Commander Hemedti significantly contributed to his battlefield achievements, as noted by Giorgio Cafiero, CEO of the risk consultancy Gulf State Analytics.
He highlighted that Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, the Commander of the Sudanese Armed Forces, adopted a firm position against the UAE, evidenced by the expulsion of 15 Emirati diplomats in December over their ongoing support for the Rapid Support Forces.
This move came after Al-Burhan’s faction had been employing cautious and diplomatic approaches, refraining from direct verbal clashes with prominent figures such as Libyan Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, Russia, and Abu Dhabi.
He stated, “Haftar and the Russian Wagner Group mercenaries, along with the UAE, maintain ties with the Rapid Support Forces and specifically with Hemedti. Haftar and Wagner initially provided arms to the Rapid Support Forces during the early stages of the conflict, utilizing Wagner aircraft stationed in southern Libya.”
He further stated, “The Wagner Company, now known as the Africa Corps, along with the UAE, has longstanding ties with Hemedti, primarily through the extraction and illegal transport of gold from the Jebel Amer mines in Darfur, which Hemedti oversees.”
He highlighted that a significant portion of this gold ultimately finds its way to the UAE, where it enters the global market.
Baretta emphasized that Hemedti maintains personal and Rapid Support Forces funds in the UAE, which also serves as the base for the RSF’s social media propaganda network.

He highlighted that in 2019, four years before the conflict with the Sudanese Armed Forces, Hemedti bought 1,000 vehicles from the Emirates, which could be adapted into “technical vehicles” equipped with machine guns. These vehicles were purchased through Hemedti’s family company, Tradive General Trading, which is also headquartered in the UAE.
He emphasized that amidst the ongoing conflict between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces, the backing of external actors—particularly the UAE—has assumed paramount significance, as highlighted by Alex de Waal, Director of the World Peace Foundation, amidst international efforts to broker a ceasefire.
From his viewpoint, Daniele Nadi, a European journalist and expert in worldwide and local affairs, scrutinized the severe ramifications of the escalating humanitarian catastrophe in Sudan stemming from internal conflict and external support.
Nadi stated that the warring parties in Sudan are using heavy weapons in densely populated areas, leading to dire consequences for civilians. In July 2023, the International Criminal Court opened an investigation into allegations of international crimes committed in Darfur.
He warned that the ongoing conflict will exacerbate existing vulnerabilities, create new ones, and cause enormous civilian suffering, with recent reports indicating that more than 13,000 people have been killed since April, although data remains partial due to extreme violence and limited communications and access.
In 2023, Sudan ranked as the world’s second most perilous location for humanitarian workers, with at least 22 aid workers killed, as per the Aid Worker Security Database. Meanwhile, medical personnel and infrastructure have faced a surge in attacks, with the World Health Organization confirming 60 incidents since April 15, 2023.
Furthermore, there’s a growing concern regarding food insecurity, as per the latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) projections released in December. These forecasts suggest that between October 2023 and February 2024, approximately 17.7 million individuals will confront significant levels of acute food insecurity, with nearly 5 million classified in the emergency phase.
The ongoing conflict has triggered substantial waves of involuntary migration, with over 7.7 million individuals displaced thus far. Among them, more than 6 million, including at least 3 million children as reported by UNICEF, are internally displaced. Of the 1.6 million individuals residing outside Sudan, the overwhelming majority are highly vulnerable women and children.