It is the latest example of how the Emirates, an American ally in the Persian Gulf, has been using its vast wealth and sophisticated armory to position itself as a key player and sometimes kingmaker across Africa.
In Sudan, the evidence suggests it is backing the Rapid Support Forces, or R.S.F., a powerful paramilitary group that has been linked to the Russian mercenary group Wagner and accused of atrocities. The R.S.F. has been battling the nation's regular military in a civil war that has left 5,000 civilians dead and displaced more than four million people since April.
The Emiratis, however, insist that their operation at the border with Sudan is purely humanitarian.
Since planes began to arrive in the Chadian town, Amdjarass, the Emirati state news agency has published images of the gleaming field hospital where, it says, over 6,000 patients have been treated since July. Videos show Emirati officials dropping aid packages outside straw huts in nearby villages, donating goats and renovating schools. They have even organized a camel race .
Their motive, the Emiratis say, is to help Sudanese refugees, many fleeing brutal ethnic violence in the Darfur region. But since Sudan plunged into war, barely 250 refugees have registered in Amdjarass, according to the United Nations refugee agency.
The refugee emergency is actually a few hundred miles to the south, a two-day drive over desert and dirt roads, where 420,000 recently arrived Sudanese are crammed into sprawling camps amid desperate conditions.
#Sudan #UAE 23-09-29
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