Iran tried to persuade Sudan to allow naval base on Red Sea coast: WSJ

Ahram Online , AFP , Sunday 3 Mar 2024

Iran unsuccessfully pressed Sudan to let it build a permanent naval base on the African country’s Red Sea coast, something that would have allowed Tehran to monitor maritime traffic to and from the Suez Canal and Israel, a senior Sudanese intelligence official told the WSJ.

FILE - Residents displaced from a surge of violent attacks squat on blankets and in hastily made tents in the village of Masteri in west Darfur, Sudan, on July 30, 2020. AP


Iran has supplied Sudan’s military with drones to use in its fight with the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, and offered to provide a helicopter-carrying warship if Sudan had granted permission for the base, said Ahmad Hasan Mohamed, an intelligence adviser to Sudan’s military leader.

The intelligence official stated that the base would have allowed Iran to “gather intelligence” and “station warships” near the vital Suez Canal and Israel.

He said Khartoum turned down Iran's proposal to avoid alienating the US and Israel, with whom the country has recently sought to improve relations, according to the WSJ.

On Friday, the UN rights chief said that Sudanese civilians are living in "sheer terror" due to the "ruthless, senseless conflict" that is upending the country and posing a risk to regional peace.

Volker Turk said the crisis in Sudan was marked by an insidious disregard for human life.

Fighting broke out in April last year between Sudanese Army Chief Abdel-Fattah Al-Burhan and Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, his former deputy and commander of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces.

Turk said that at least 14,600 people had been killed and 26,000 others injured, though the true toll would be much higher.

Around 25 million people – more than half the population – need aid, including nearly 18 million who face acute food insecurity, according to UN numbers.

"The crisis in Sudan is a tragedy that appears to have slipped into the fog of global amnesia," he told the UN Human Rights Council.

The warring parties "have manufactured a climate of sheer terror, forcing millions to flee", he added

The UN rights chief noted that both sides had consistently acted with impunity for multiple rights violations, while any talks towards peace have stagnated.

Besides heavy artillery, "sexual violence as a weapon of war, including rape, has been a defining – and despicable – characteristic of this crisis," said Turk.

Short link: