Sudan declares 15 Emirati diplomats persona non grata

The Sudanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday summoned Badriya El Shehhi, the deputy chargé d’affaires of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Embassy in Port Sudan, informed her of the Sudanese government’s decision to declare 15 diplomats working at the embassy as persona non grata. and demanded that they leave the country within 48 hours.

The FA Ministry’s decision follows the UAE Foreign Ministry’s summoning of the Sudanese ambassador to Abu Dhabi, Abdelrahman Sharafi, on Thursday last week. He was told that the military attaché, his deputy, and the cultural attaché at the Sudanese embassy had to leave the Emirates.

The mutual expulsion between Sudan and the UAE come after the recent statements by Lt Gen Yasir El Atta, deputy commander-in-chief of the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF), in which he accused the Emirates of supporting the Rapid Support Forces with arms supplies and describes the UAE as “a mafia state”.

Military support by the Emirates to the RSF has been the subject of several reports since war broke out between the Sudanese army and the RSF on April 15.

The independent Arab channel Almayadeen reported in August about a cargo plane that landed in Entebbe, Uganda’s main airport, in early June. The aeroplane’s flight records indicated it was sent by the UAE and was carrying aid for Sudanese refugees.

Ugandan authorities said they discovered dozens of crates in the plane’s cargo hold stocked with ammunition, assault weapons, and other small weaponry, instead of the food and medical supplies.

“Beyond the many Il-76 flights from Abu Dhabi to Chad via Entebbe, there are also some direct flights to N’Djamena,” an aircraft tracker known as @Gerjon stated in August on X (formerly Twitter).

Dabanga Sudan reported earlier this week about the worries of Sudanese living and working in the UAE in case the relationship between the two countries deteriorates for the worse.

The disastrous consequences of these developments may affect the entire Sudanese economy, given the UAE’s status as Sudan’s first and primary trading partner over the past two decades. About 45 per cent of Sudan’s exports go to the UAE and 31 per cent of Sudan’s imports come from the UAE, according to 2022 statistics.

In June 2022, Sudanese businessman Osama Daoud announced that the UAE would build a new port in the Red Sea in Sudan as part of the new investment deal with the UAE. The deal was part of a $6 billion’s worth investment package, Daoud said.

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