Vladimir Putin-linked Russian mercenary Wagner Group is reportedly supplying Sudan’s Rapid Support Forces (RSF) with missiles to assist them in their fight against the country’s military.
What Happened: According to satellite images in Libya — that borders Sudan and where Khalifa Haftar, a rogue general supported by Wagner, holds control over large portions of territory — an unusual uptick in activity on Wagner bases has been noticed, CNN reported.
Unnamed Sudanese and regional diplomatic sources have told the publication that the surface-to-air missiles have provided substantial support to RSF paramilitary fighters and its leader Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo as they engage in a power struggle with General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, Sudan’s military ruler and the head of its armed forces.
Before the conflict broke out, Dagalo and Burhan were competing for control to reinstate civilian governance in Sudan. However, negotiations fell apart, leading to some of the most severe violence in many years — that has claimed hundreds of lives and deprived millions of people of electricity, water and food.
Why It Matters: Putin’s close ally Yevgeny Prigozhin-led private Russian militia has been involved in prominent ways in Moscow’s military operations abroad, particularly in Ukraine. The mercenary group has been accused of committing heinous acts, and in Africa, the group has contributed to consolidating the Kremlin’s growing influence and seizing resources.