Sudan assessing troop deployment in Yemen: minister

2018-05-02 20:32
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Sudan said on Wednesday it is assessing its deployment of troops within a Saudi-led alliance in Yemen, amid calls to withdraw the forces after a rebel ambush reportedly killed dozens of soldiers.

"These days we are doing a study and an assessment of our troops' participation in Yemen," Sudanese Minister of State for Defence Ali Salim told reporters.

"This assessment will look into the positives and negatives of our participation."

A decision on Sudan's troop deployment would be made once the review is completed, he said.

"The decision will take into consideration our country's interests and stability," Salim said, adding it would also consider Khartoum's international commitments.

President Omar al-Bashir deployed Sudanese troops to Yemen in 2015 as part of a major foreign policy shift that saw Khartoum break its decades-old ties with Shiite Iran and join the Saudi-led coalition.

Hundreds of Sudanese soldiers and officers are fighting in Yemen, and have often suffered casualties.

An ambush in April by Shiite Huthi rebels reportedly killed dozens of Sudanese soldiers in northern Yemen. The insurgents claimed the attack on their Al-Masirah website.

The losses are reported to be some of the heaviest suffered by Sudan since its troops were deployed.

Khartoum has neither confirmed nor denied the attack.

Photographs posted to social media allegedly of soldiers killed in the ambush sparked calls for a withdrawal.

Several opposition leaders and analysts have questioned Bashir's decision to join the Saudi-led coalition.

Bashir, who came to power in an Islamist-backed coup in 1989, has said the move to join the Saudi-led coalition was "ideological".

The coalition intervened in Yemen in March 2015 on behalf of the internationally recognised government to roll back the Iran-allied Huthis, who had seized control of much of the country including Sanaa.

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