Sudan: Russia mercenaries Wagner Group 'arming RSF'
The Wagner Group has greatly aided the RSF headed by military general Mohamed Hamdan 'Hemedti' Dagalo by supplying them with surface-to-air missiles, the American news outlet said, citing Sudanese and other diplomatic sources.
Satellite imagery from Wagner bases in neighbouring Libya, where swathes of territory are controlled by rogue general Khalifa Haftar, show an unusual spike in movement, according to CNN and open-source investigations group All Eyes on Wagner.
Hundreds of people have been killed and millions have been left without access to water, electricity, or food as the RSF and Sudanese de facto leader General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan’s army engage in fierce fighting that began on 15 April.
Satellite images show a Russian plane moving between airbases in Libya that belong to Haftar and are used by Wagner.
Haftar has been accused of backing the RSF — a claim he has denied.
Russian aircraft had become more active two days before the rival Sudanese forces began fighting, satellite images show -- suggesting Russia and Haftar had been preparing to aid the RSF prior to the violence, CNN said.
The increase in movement by the Ilyushin-76 transport aircraft began on 13 April and continued until at least Wednesday 19 April, according to satellite images and Netherlands-based open-source specialist Gerjon.
There was also movement between Libya and Latakia in northern Syria, Gerjon said. Russia has a major airbase in the coastal Syrian city.
When Burhan and Dagalo were allies, they both received backing from Russia.
As the schism between the two Sudanese generals grew, Russia lent its support to Dagalo's forces through weapons and training.
In a statement to CNN, the RSF denied receiving aid from Russia and Libya.
Russian Wagner Group chief Yevgeny Prigozhin denied any involvement in the conflict, via the group's official Telegram channel.
Wagner Group has repeatedly been accused of committing atrocities in Ukraine, which Russia invaded in February of last year.