The 10 June 2024 letter from the Sudanese representative is, once again, littered with mischaracterizations and outright fabrications against the United Arab Emirates (UAE).  

We wish to fully address those spurious allegations, but at the outset, we reaffirm our support for efforts to de-escalate tensions, implement a ceasefire and advance negotiations leading to the restoration of a legitimate government that is representative of all Sudanese people.

The UAE is gravely concerned about the devastating impacts of the conflict in Sudan, and is particularly alarmed by reports of sexual violence against women and girls, killing and maiming of children, recruitment of children, indiscriminate aerial bombings, the high risk of famine, and the continued suffering and displacement of thousands of civilians, especially children, women, and the elderly. The UAE reiterates its calls on the warring parties to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure. The UAE further reminds the warring parties of their obligations under international humanitarian law and their commitments made in Jeddah to protect civilians and facilitate humanitarian deliveries to meet the needs of civilians and urges them to comply with all relevant Security Council resolutions.

The impacts of this conflict are acutely felt by the large community of Sudanese people in the UAE, who comprise a valued part of our society and who are testament to the deep-rooted relations between our two countries. The Sudanese people deserve justice and peace; they need an immediate ceasefire, the unhindered flow of humanitarian aid, and a credible political process.

The UAE is also deeply concerned about the catastrophic and deteriorating humanitarian situation, including crisis-level acute food insecurity and the looting of humanitarian stockpiles. With millions of Sudanese people facing a looming famine, it is unconscionable that the warring parties continue to obstruct and deny basic humanitarian assistance in violation of international humanitarian law. The blocking of cross-border and crossline humanitarian access cannot be accepted. The UAE joins the Security Council in urging the parties to the conflict to allow and facilitate the urgent, safe, unhindered and sustained passage of humanitarian relief for civilians in need, in line with resolution 2736 adopted on 13 June 2024.

The UAE has sought to help meet the humanitarian needs of the Sudanese people. After the SAF regrettably declined our offer of 25 May 2023 to establish a field hospital in Sudan to provide aid and medical support, the UAE established two field hospitals near the Chad-Sudan border. These field hospitals continue to be a critical lifeline for those in need of medical care. Moreover, last week, the UAE signed new agreements with the UN to increase aid for Sudan, allocating a further US $70 million in aid for Sudan through key partners and UN agencies, in addition to the US $130 million the UAE has provided in humanitarian aid to Sudan since the conflict erupted in April 2023.

The spillover of the humanitarian crisis also imperils regional security. Sudan risks once again becoming a fertile breeding ground for radical ideologies and terrorist organisations. Extremism remains a fundamental threat to the region, and is a root cause of terrorism. The security vacuum in Sudan therefore threatens to allow extremism and inter-communal violence, fueled by hate speech and disinformation, to spread to neighbouring countries, creating a regional crisis with global implications for migration, food security, and counterterrorism. The only way to prevent this is to support the realisation of a peaceful, stable and economically-developed Sudan, led by a civilian government.

The continued violence in Sudan only underscores that none of the warring parties represent the people of Sudan. There is no military solution to this conflict. The war has to end. We urge the warring parties to immediately stop the fighting, put down their arms, join the Jeddah talks process, and negotiate in order to create a path towards a representative, civilian-led government.

The international community must therefore significantly increase its support to Sudan. The response to this crisis is too important to continue to be held back by warring factions who do not represent the interests of the Sudanese people. The UAE remains focused on working with regional and international partners to mitigate the risk of famine and to encourage the warring parties to engage positively in a political process. Furthermore, the UAE supports all initiatives aimed at ending this conflict, and firmly believes that peace talks should be supported by all those who wish to see a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

We note in this regard the recent call by the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC) for an extraordinary summit to address the escalating war in Sudan, and we commend the role of Uganda and key AU officials and regional leaders in their efforts to end the crisis. The UAE joins the AU PSC’s call on the leaders of the warring factions to meet under the auspices of the AU and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development without further delay and to participate in the forthcoming all-inclusive Sudan political dialogue process in Addis Ababa on 10 to 15 July 2024.

At this critical juncture for Sudan and the region, the United Arab Emirates is profoundly concerned about the continued dissemination of disinformation and false narratives, which are an attempt to distract from the situation on the ground. Indeed, in the context of the scale of suffering in this conflict, the UAE regrets that the Sudanese representative, who represents one of the warring parties, the SAF, has once again abused his participation in a meeting of the Security Council to attempt to shift the blame for the situation in Sudan. In particular, he has presented a skewed narrative of the activities of the SAF and its allied militias, to justify, rationalise and defend their actions, including their obstruction of the delivery of humanitarian aid and other violations of international humanitarian law as well as their continued refusal to participate in peace talks. It is disappointing that the Sudanese representative continues to misuse the platform of the Security Council to pursue political and ideological ends that are completely at odds with the objective of the international community to resolve the multiple crises in Sudan. This behavior is deeply unconstructive and should not be accepted.

We are further appalled that the Sudanese representative used the Security Council meeting on 18 June 2024 to attempt to convince the international community that there is no looming famine in Sudan. This denial is a blatant disregard for the suffering of the Sudanese people and an attempt to downplay the severe humanitarian crisis. This is contrary to established fact.[1] The situation continues to grow ever more devastating, while trucks are stuck at Sudan’s border waiting to be allowed in to provide lifesaving aid to people in Sudan.

The allegations made by the Sudanese representatives are nothing more than fabrications and the dubious photographs annexed to the Sudanese representative’s letter of 10 June 2024, which are provided without context or corroborating evidence, should be summarily disregarded. In particular:

1. Contrary to the Sudanese representative’s claims, the photographs in his 10 June 2024 letter do not depict passports; rather, they are photographs of scans or photocopies of the data pages of six passports, some of which are clearly expired, and some of which are passports from another country. The four Emirati individuals in question have travelled to Sudan well before the conflict. These individuals regard this allegation of involvement in the conflict as defamatory and in stark contrast to the welcome they previously received from Sudanese authorities for their charitable endeavours and attempts to build business links between two brotherly nations, and they reserve their right to take legal action. Indeed, these individuals have their respective passports in their possession, and it is not possible for them to have been found “on the battlefield” as alleged by the Sudanese representative.

In May 2022, a delegation from the ‘International Charity Organization’, a UAE-based charity and humanitarian organization that enjoys consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council (under the name ‘Human Appeal International’) undertook a visit to Sudan to oversee various humanitarian initiatives. Five of the individuals identified in the Sudanese representative’s 10 June 2024 letter were members of the International Charity Organization delegation. The cooperation between the Sudanese authorities and the International Charity Organization is further documented online, including on the Organization’s website.

There are numerous ways in which Sudanese authorities may have obtained scans or photocopies of the passport data pages of these passports, including in relation to the May 2022 visit by the International Charity Organization. No photographs of the other parts of the six passports are provided to substantiate the allegations that these passports were seized from an armored vehicle in a road accident between Al Jeraif and Um Dom on 28 January 2024 and are in the possession of the SAF.

2. The photograph of a damaged armoured vehicle erroneously identified as a “Nimr armoured vehicle with a Ford interior” in the Sudan representative’s 10 June 2024 letter is not—as matter of fact—a Nimr vehicle. No Nimr vehicle is produced on a Ford chassis or with a Ford vehicle interior. There are also numerous significant differences between the damaged armoured vehicle and a Nimr armoured vehicle, including but not limited to, the size and shape of the side windows, the size of the doors and the size and composition of the door handles, the shape of the body, and the presence of storage boxes below the doors of the damaged armoured vehicle (which are not present on a Nimr armoured vehicle).

3. The allegations made by the Sudanese representative regarding the supply of arms and military equipment are part of a duplicitous media disinformation campaign by the SAF. These allegations are patently false, and the images shared by the Sudanese representative do not support—and even contradict—his baseless claims. Military cooperation and assistance from the UAE Government to Sudan prior to the outbreak of the conflict was provided at the request of the Government of Sudan, through the Ministry of Defense of Sudan and the SAF, to support Sudan’s efforts in upholding peace and stability in the country. In fact, First Lieutenant General Abdel-Fattah Al-Burhan Abdelrahman Al-Burhan in his then capacity as President of the Transitional Sovereign Council of the Republic of the Sudan officially requested military assistance from the UAE within the framework of a defence agreement signed between the two countries on 29 July 2020. It is worth recalling in this context the numerous positive visits that Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan Abdelrahman Al-Burhan made to the UAE, including in February 2023, two months prior to the start of the conflict. 

The cooperation between the two countries has included various forms of support provided between 2019 and 2021 to the Government of Sudan led by then Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.

The Sudanese Government received 30 unarmed armoured vehicles from the UAE, which were delivered to Sudan two months before the start of the conflict. The transfer of these vehicles was authorized by the Military Attache’s office of the Embassy of Sudan in the UAE, and they were received by the Ministry of Defence. The UAE provided this assistance in good faith with the understanding that it was for the defence of Sudan.

The support and assistance by the UAE was consistent with our obligations under international law and relevant Security Council resolutions. The UAE has not provided any arms or related materiel of any kind to any of the warring parties since the start of the conflict.

It is unfortunate that the Sudanese representative has sought to mislead the international community by excluding important information and context about Sudan’s recent history. Pursuant to the Rapid Support Forces Act of 2017, the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) was legally-recognised in Sudan as nationally-composed military forces with functions including supporting and assisting the Armed Forces and other government forces to perform their functions. Decisions on the distribution of materiel of the State were made by the Sudanese Government.

4. The photographs of phones in the Sudanese representative’s 10 June 2024 letter are commercial phones that were widely sold. These models are obsolete civilian phones that are no longer in production. The ‘Etisalat’ logo and markings which appear on some of the phones are old—dating from before the year 2000—and are no longer used by the company.

Finally, the UAE has previously responded to the defamatory allegations made by representatives of Sudan in letters from the UAE to the UN Security Council on 20 March 2024, 21 April 2024, and 25 April 2024.

[1] The Integrated Food Security Classification system that guide’s the UN’s assessment of famine issued an alert on March 29 stating that “Immediate action is thus required to prevent widespread death and total collapse of livelihoods and avert a catastrophic hunger crisis in Sudan.”