WASHINGTON — US Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned Monday that Russia’s Wagner Group risked aggravating Sudan’s conflict, with Kenya’s top diplomat also criticizing involvement by Middle Eastern powers.
“We do have deep concern about the engagement of the Prigozhin group — the Wagner Group — in Sudan,” Blinken told a news conference, referring to the Kremlin-linked mercenary outfit’s founder Yevgeny Prigozhin.
Blinken said the Wagner group — which has been active in Mali and the Central African Republic as well as in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine — where “it’s engagement simply brings more death and destruction with it.”
Kenya’s foreign secretary, Alfred Mutua, also pointed the finger at Middle Eastern countries. He did not name them, but Egypt and the United Arab Emirates have been widely reported to have backed warring generals.
“We’ve been quite concerned by some of our friends in the Middle East as well as Russia or others who for a long time have been friendly to either one or the other side,” he said.
“At this particular time, it is not a time to be able to sides in a war,” Mutua said.
He added that foreign players were “trying to use Sudan as a playing field for whatever reason.”
“We are asking external forces to leave Sudan alone.”