Since Nov. 2023, tensions between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF)—commanded by Gen. Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan—and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have risen. On Nov. 27, Lt. Gen. Yasser Al-Atta, the assistant commander-in-chief of the SAF, criticized the UAE for behaving like a “mafia state” in a speech at a military headquarters. Less than two weeks later, authorities in Khartoum declared 15 staff members from the Emirati embassy in Sudan persona non-grata, ordering them to leave the country within 48 hours.
Speculation over the UAE’s role in Sudan is nothing new. Sudan has been embroiled in a brutal domestic conflict since Apr. 2023, pitting the SAF against the Rapid Support Forces (RSF)—a paramilitary entity led by Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, also known as Hemedti.
One major point of contention for the SAF is the UAE’s continued financial, political, and military support for the rival...
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