Sudan’s Foreign Ministry Denies Presence of Russian Wagner Group

Sudan’s Foreign Ministry Denies Presence of Russian Wagner Group (News Central TV)
Sudan’s Foreign Ministry Denies Presence of Russian Wagner Group (News Central TV)

Sudan’s foreign ministry on Tuesday denied the presence of Russian private military contractor Wagner Group in the country, after a response to a statement by Western diplomats.

In a statement published in a Sudanese newspaper on Monday, representatives from the United States, the United Kingdom, and Norway stated that the mercenary group with ties to Moscow “spreads disinformation on social media and engages in unlawful operations related to gold mining.”

The Sudanese declaration follows a high-profile visit by one of Sudan’s military chiefs to Russia on the eve of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Sudan’s foreign ministry accused the diplomats of interfering in Sudanese affairs and “arbitrarily” dragging the country into the Ukraine war.

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“They alleged that the Russian Wagner security company was present in Sudan and carrying out training, mining, and other illegal activities which the government of Sudan denies completely,” the statement said.

The Wagner Group has been linked to Russian businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin, who denies any ties to the firm.

The US sanctioned M Invest and its subsidiary Meroe Gold in 2020, alleging that they were controlled by Prigozhin and operating in Sudan.

M Invest was accused of being a front for Wagner forces in the country, assisting in the development of measures to crush demonstrators, particularly through social media disinformation, and receiving gold concessions, according to a US Treasury notice at the time.

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Facebook took down accounts linked to the officially defunct Internet Research Agency, which was also linked to Prigozhin by US authorities, in December 2020 and May 2021, according to researchers, that spread content supportive of General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, the leader of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces.

On a tour that began on the eve of the invasion of Ukraine, Dagalo, who helped orchestrate an October coup that terminated a civilian-military power-sharing agreement, met with high-ranking Russian officials in Moscow.

He added the next week that Sudan was open to a naval basing arrangement with Russia or any other country.

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