BLOOD AND GOLD: How the Sudanese are Dying for Putin’s War in Ukraine – by Brian Latham (ByLine Times April 18, 2023)

Digital Edition (12.04.24)

Fighting in Sudan may yet influence the war in Ukraine because Sudanese gold smuggled by Russia’s Wagner mercenaries buys the weapons and munitions Russia needs. Wagner has been in Sudan since 2017, invited there by former dictator Omar al-Bashir.

Bashir had met Putin in Moscow that year and, sensing the Sudanese population was growing restive, offered investment opportunities to Russia in exchange for support. The ‘’investment’’ came in the form of a mining company, Meroe Gold, owned by Russia’s M-Invest. Both companies are sanctioned by the US government and the EU, and both are owned by Yevgeny Prigozhin – who also owns Wagner.

After Bashir’s ouster in the April 2019 coup, Wagner officials flirted with Sudan’s shaky Sovereign Council, now led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan who also commands Sudan’s official military. Relations between the Russian mercenaries and al-Burhan, a career soldier, broke down and Wagner began flirting with his deputy, General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, more commonly known by his nickname, Hemedti.

Sudan’s current conflict pits al-Burhan against Hemedti, his deputy, and a former camel trader who joined the Janjaweed militia implicated in massacres in Darfur before becoming a professional soldier. With only three years of education, Hemedti rose through the ranks on guile and strategy. He’s also one of Sudan’s richest men.

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