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More Sudanese troops will be sent to fight Houthi rebels in Yemen

Sudanese troops were deployed to Yemen as part of the Saudi-led coalition in 2015 [AFP]

Date of publication: 13 June, 2017

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More Sudanese troops will be sent to fight in Yemen, reports suggest, after the Saudi-led military alliance expelled Qatar from the coalition waging war on Yemen's Houthi rebels.

More Sudanese soldiers will be sent to participate in the ongoing Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen, Sudan's ministry of defence confirmed.

Sudan's state Minister of Defence Maj. Gen. Ali Salim confirmed preparations are underway to send a new batch of troops to Yemen, according to local al-Saiha newspaper, to back the internationally-recognised government of Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi battle Houthi rebels.

Sudan has provided around a thousand troops to help prop up the Saudi-led coalition, which includes the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain among other states.

Last month, Sudan's Defence Minister, Awad Bin Auf assured the coalition it was prepared to contribute more soldiers upon request.

"There are 6,000 fighters from special forces, ground forces and elite troops ready to participate when requested by the leadership of the coalition… Even if more troops and military contributions are needed, we are ready for any developments," Sudan's Defence Minister Awad Bin Auf assured last month.

The move comes as tensions increase in the Gulf region, after regional superpower Saudi Arabia and its allies severed ties with Qatar for its alleged support of terrorism.

Sudan's decision to provide more soldiers to Yemen could help cover the loss of Qatar's troops after Doha was expelled from the alliance. 

The diplomatic row escalated in the past week, with the anti-Qatar alliance imposing an air, land and sea blockade of the Gulf state, as well as expelling it from the coalition engaged in battle across Yemen.

Last month, Khartoum confirmed 21 Sudanese troops had been killed in the conflict that escalated with the coalition intervention in March 2015.

More than 10,000 people - half of whom are civilians - have been killed in conflict, according to UN figures, while some 3 million have been displaced.

Already the region's most impoverished nation, Yemen now suffers from a deadly cholera outbreak that has killed more than 200 in weeks, while aid organisations warned of famine.

 

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