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Suspected UAE arms shipment to Sudan’s RSF detected near El-Fasher

Photos released by Yale HRL identified cargo aircraft flying over RSF territory in El-Fasher matching plane seen at UAE base in Chad that allegedly provides lethal aid to RSF

A  report by the Humanitarian Research Lab (HRL) at Yale University has revealed the presence of an Ilyushin IL-76 cargo plane flying over Rapid Support Forces (RSF) territory in Sudan on

 

June 14, 2024.

 

This finding has raised concerns over potential arms resupply to the RSF by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), given the reported use of similar aircraft for lethal aid transfers to the RSF via Chad.

The IL-76, known for its versatility in transporting heavy munitions and military equipment, was detected flying east over RSF territory near El-Fasher. The origin and registration of the aircraft remain unknown.

The report notes that the UAE has been previously accused of supplying weapons to the RSF through Chad, as detailed in a January 2024 UN Panel of Experts report. This allegation is further supported by open-source information tracking IL-76 flights originating in the UAE and stopping in African countries before reaching Chad.

While the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) has used IL-76s in the past, recent evidence suggests they are not currently utilizing these planes for resupply missions.

The HRL urges members of the UN Security Council to seek clarification from the UAE regarding their potential involvement in re-supplying the RSF in El-Fasher.

Speaking at an online briefing organised by Crisis Action on Thursday, HRL Executive Director Nathanial Raymond said that the incident calls for immediate action from the UN Security Council, which must investigate the UAE’s potential involvement in arms deliveries to the RSF.

“This phenomenon needs to be investigated. We need the United Nations, including member states of the Security Council, to ask questions of the UAE and others and investigate why this plane was in an active war zone, what its purpose was, who was operating it, and whether or not it was engaged in supplying any of the parties to the conflict,” Raymond stated.

Earlier this year, in April and May, Sudan formally requested the UN Security Council convene to address allegations of the UAE’s involvement in the ongoing war within its borders. However, these requests were thwarted by the opposition of some permanent members of the council, preventing any discussion on the matter.

(ST)

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