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Sudan defends its participation in Yemen’s war

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April 11, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese defence ministry has stuck to its participation in the Saudi-led war against the Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen and mentioned the presence of South Sudanese troops inside the national territory.

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Saudi soldiers is seen in the southern province of Jizan, near the border with Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Saturday, Nov. 7, 2009 (AP)

The Minister of State for Defence Ali Mohamed Salim made his remarks in a closed-door briefing to the parliament about the security situation in the country.

Members of Parliament (MPs) who attended the briefing told reporters that Salim defended the participation of Sudanese troops and described it as "normal".

"The participation of the (Sudanese) armed forces in the war in Yemen is normal and this is not the first time that the Sudanese forces participate in a war outside the country," Salim stated.

There are many questions raised in Khartoum about the reasons behind the involvement of Sudanese troops in the war in Yemen.

Several legislators called last week to withdraw Sudanese forces from Yemen.

Critics point that several countries members of the Saudi-led coalition did not send troops to Yemen. Others say Saudi Arabia and UAE provides financial support to other countries but not Sudan despite its difficult financial situation.

Last October, President Omer al-Bashir thanked Saudi Arabia and UAE for their strong support to the lift of 20-year U.S. economic embargo. The two countries vowed to continue supporting Sudan removal from the list of countries supporting terrorism.

South Sudan Army

The state minister further told the lawmakers that some South Sudanese troops are now present in the Sudanese territory but minimized the move saying it would not lead to war between the two countries.

The leader of the far-right Just Peace Forum (JPF) demanded to reciprocate with South Sudan, accusing the neighbouring country of supporting the rebel groups.

But the minister turned down the request saying "Gun will not solve problems with Juba but the dialogue will."

"We will not enter into a war with South Sudan despite the incursion of southern forces within the Sudanese border," he further underscored.

(ST)

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