As War Rages in Sudan, Countries Angle for Advantage – by Declan Walsh (New York Times – April 22, 2023)

Even before its two leading generals went to war last week, “everyone wanted a chunk of Sudan,” an expert said of the strategically located country rich in natural resources.

NAIROBI, Kenya — As war consumes Sudan, nations from around the world have mobilized swiftly. Egypt scrambled to bring home 27 of its soldiers, who had been seized by one of Sudan’s warring parties. A Libyan warlord offered weapons to his favored side, American officials said.

Diplomats from Africa, the Middle East and the West have appealed for a halt to the fighting that has reduced parts of the capital, Khartoum, to a smoking battlefield. Even the leader of Russia’s most notorious private military company, Wagner, has gotten involved. Publicly, he has offered to help mediate between the rival generals fighting for power, but American officials say he has offered weapons, too.

“The U.N. and many others want the blood of the Sudanese,” Yevgeny Prigozhin, the Wagner founder, said in a statement. Without a hint of irony, Mr. Prigozhin, who is waging a brutal military campaign on behalf of Russia in Ukraine, added: “I want peace.”

The rush of international activity may seem sudden, but it reflects a dynamic that loomed over the country well before its two leading generals turned on each other last week: Sudan has been up for grabs for years.

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