Sudanese transitional council pledges supporting Riyadh against Huthi militias

General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo
General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo

A top Sudanese general vowed to back regional ally SaudiArabia against "all threats and attacks" from Iran during talks withthe kingdom's crown prince, Sudan's military council said Friday.

General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, the deputy chief of Sudan'stransitional military council, met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman inJeddah, the official Saudi Press Agency reported earlier in the day.

"Sudan is standing with the kingdom against all threatsand attacks from Iran and Huthi militias," Dagalo, widely known asHimeidti, told the crown prince during their meeting, the council said in astatement.

A Saudi-led military coalition, which includes Sudan, backsan internationally recognized government against the Iran-aligned Huthi rebelgroup in Yemen's conflict. 

Himeidti also said the military council would continuedeploying Sudanese troops to Yemen as part of the coalition.

It was Dagalo's first international trip since Sudan's armygenerals took power after they backed protesters in ousting longtime-presidentOmar al-Bashir last month.

The statement, the council's first major foreign policyannouncement, represents a continuation of the deposed leader's policy.

Bashir deployed troops to Yemen in 2015 as part of a majorforeign policy shift that saw Khartoum break its decades-old ties with Iran.

"The Sudanese forces will remain in Yemen to defend thesecurity of Saudi Arabia," Himeidti said, according to the statement.

Hundreds of Sudanese soldiers and officers are fighting inYemen and have often suffered casualties, spurring calls at home forwithdrawal.

Sudanese media reports claim that many of the troops deployed in Yemen are from the Rapid Support Force (RSF) paramilitary group, which is led by Himeidti and is now part of the regular army.

Days after Bashir was ousted, oil-rich Gulf States Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates pledged to inject $500 million into Sudan's central bank and $2.5 billion to help provide food, medicine and petroleum products.

They said the move was aimed at shoring up the Sudanesepound.

In recent years Sudan has been hit by an acute lack ofdollars, a key factor behind the nationwide protests that first erupted inDecember and led to Bashir's political demise.

Both Gulf nations have voiced backing for Sudan's militaryrulers, who face calls from protesters and Western powers to cede power to acivilian transitional government.

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