Gold Riches Fuel Sudan Militia’s War to Rule Nation, UN Says – by Simon Marks (Bloomberg News – January 21, 2024)

(Bloomberg) — Sudan’s paramilitary Rapid Support Forces group is using large-scale proceeds from gold mining to fund its devastating war against the nation’s army, according to United Nations investigators.

The UN report also described as “credible” allegations that the United Arab Emirates has helped supply the RSF via neighboring Chad, citing local witnesses — something the Gulf nation denies. And it said violence by the RSF and allied militias may have killed as many as 15,000 people in one city in the Darfur region in 2023 — a figure that would outstrip the UN’s previous toll for the entire nine-month conflict.

The panel of experts report, which Bloomberg News obtained and hasn’t yet been made public, is one of the most detailed high-level accounts to date on the RSF’s activities. The paramilitary group and Sudan’s army turned on each other in April in a battle for control of the North African nation, sparking a refugee crisis and pushing the country to the verge of famine.

An RSF spokesman didn’t immediately respond to questions. The UAE’s foreign ministry said in a statement that the country “is not supplying arms and ammunition to any of the warring parties, and does not take sides in the current conflict.”

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