By Enyichukwu Enemanna
Sudanese authorities on Sunday declared 15 members of the UAE’s diplomatic staff in the country persona non grata, giving them 48 hours to leave the country.
This may not be unconnected with alleged backing of rival group Rapid Support Forces (RSF) led by Army Chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan’s former deputy Mohamed Hamdan Daglo by UAE.
The acting UAE Chargé d’affairs was summoned on Sunday by the foreign ministry and informed about the decision, Sudanese news agency reports but did not give further details on the reason behind the decision.
Earlier, the UAE had declared three Sudanese diplomats persona non grata and ordered them to leave the country within 48 hours.
Over the past few weeks, pro-army loyalists and demonstrators have stepped up verbal attacks on the UAE, accusing it of backing the rival Rapid Support Forces (RSF) by supplying arms and weapons.
The military government in Sudan and the RSF have been fighting a bloody war since April 15 in which more than 12,000 people have been killed.
Efforts of negotiations have yielded no results, with neither side managing to seize a decisive advantage on the battlefield.
Sudanese Assistant Commander-in-Chief Lt Gen Yasir al-Atta has severally blasted UAE for its alleged support to the RSF.
In his Nov 27 speech, Al-Atta outrightly labelled the UAE as a “mafia state.”
Previously, it was reported in foreign media that the UAE had been providing material and financial support to the RSF in its ongoing conflict with the Sudanese military.
A Wall Street Journal report claimed that the UAE had been accused of funnelling arms and support to the RSF, which controls much of the country’s lucrative gold mining sector.
However, UAE authorities have consistently denied these allegations.