Sudan and UAE clash at UN Security Council over Sudan civil war

United Arab Emirates Ambassador
United Arab Emirates Ambassador
Photo credit: Reuters

Sudan and the United Arab Emirates clashed at the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday, June 18, over accusations by the army-aligned Sudanese government that the UAE is providing weapons and support to a rival warring party in the country's 14-month-long conflict.

Sitting next to each other at the Security Council table, UAE U.N. Ambassador Mohamed Abushahab said Sudan's U.N. Ambassador Al-Harith Idriss Al-Harith Mohamed had made "ludicrous" and false allegations designed to distract from "grave violations that are happening on the ground."

War erupted in April last year between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) over a transition to free elections.

The U.N. says nearly 25 million people - half Sudan's population - need aid, famine is looming and some eight million people have fled their homes.

"The military aggression launched by the Rapid Support militia, supported with weapons by the Emirates, is deliberately and systematically targeting the villages and cities," Mohamed told the Security Council.

U.N. sanctions monitors have described as "credible" accusations that the UAE had provided military support to the RSF. The UAE has denied involvement in military support to any of Sudan's warring parties.

Without naming any countries, the Security Council adopted a resolution last week that urged countries "to refrain from external interference which seeks to foment conflict and instability" and reminded "member states who facilitate the transfers of arms and military material to Darfur of their obligations to comply with the arms embargo measures."

The United States says the warring parties have committed war crimes and the RSF and allied militias have also committed crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing.
Abushahab turned to his Sudanese counterpart at the Security Council table and said: "If they seek an end to the conflict and civilian suffering, then why won't they come to the Jeddah talks? Why are they blocking aid? What are you waiting for?"

"You should stop grandstanding in international fora such as this and instead, take responsibility for ending the conflict you started," Abushahab added.

Late last month Sudan's army rejected a call to return to peace talks with the RSF in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Mohamed responded angrily to Abushahab: "Whoever wants to create peace in Sudan must first come with pure intentions and the United Arab Emirates is the state that is sponsoring terrorism."