Russia’s Wagner paramilitary group has denied the presence of its personnel in Sudan, where fighting between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) rages on.
“Due to the large number of inquiries from various foreign media about Sudan, most of which are provocative, we find it necessary to inform everyone that there have been no Wagner employees in Sudan for more than two years,” a statement by the press service of Wagner said late Wednesday.
The statement said that Wagner has not maintained contact with either Sudanese army chief Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan or with RSF leader Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo for “a long time.”
“The current conflict is a purely internal matter of Sudan. Any attempts made by media sources, foreign governments or other actors to link PMC Wagner or Yevgeny Prigozhin (head of the Wagner group) to this case is nothing but making blind guesses or trying to defend one side of this conflict by manipulating facts,” the statement concluded.
At least 270 people have been killed and 2,600 others injured in armed clashes since Saturday between the Sudanese army and the RSF paramilitary group in the capital Khartoum and its surrounding areas.
The RSF accused the army of attacking its forces south of Khartoum with light and heavy weapons, while the military said the paramilitary force was “spreading lies” and declared it a “rebel” group.
The dispute between the two sides came to the surface last Thursday, when the army said recent movements by the RSF had occurred without coordination and were illegal, with their rift centering around a proposed transition to civilian rule.
Sudan has been without a functioning government since October 2021, when the military dismissed Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok’s transitional government and declared a state of emergency in a move decried by political forces as a “coup.”