Russian Wagner Private Military Company (PMC), owned by Yevgeny Prigozhin AKA Putin’s Chef, on the US Sanctions list, has deployed elements to Khartoum, Sudan.
The use of PMCs is highly controversial. PMCs originated in 1965 with WatchGuard International in the UK by SAS veterans. One of the first major public outcries against the use of PMCs began with Blackwater in Iraq. Wagner PMC participated in the invasion of Ukraine and subsequent military actions, took a part in military action against US forces in Syria (with losses reported up to 200 personnel), and recently in the Central African Republic. Reports of Russian mercenaries in Sudan are already reporting they are dispersing widespread protesters.
Russian private military contractors with Sudan’s Security forces forcibly dispersed anti-government demonstrators in Khartoum. Russian private military contractors spotted in Sudan
Sudanese military personnel were previously being trained in the Central African Republic in March 2018, it may be the case to bring Wagner PMC to Sudan to train forces there.
Neither the US, the UK, or Russia have signed the United Nations Mercenary Convention. Many regard a PMC as mercenaries.
The United Nations Mercenary Convention, officially the International Convention against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries, is a 2001 United Nations treaty that prohibits the recruitment, training, use, and financing of mercenaries.
The use of Wagner PMC by Russia allows Russia to have plausible deniability and limited liability compared with the deployment of Russian forces, but, as one of its commanders recently said:
“Even if you are 10,000 kilometers from home, you are still fighting for the motherland.”
Wagner PMC often uses Russian military equipment, further blurring the line between Wagner PMC and the Russian military.
Russian private military contractors spotted in Sudan
Russian private military contractors taken part forcibly disperse anti-government demonstrators in Khartoum, Sudan.
Soldiers from Russian private military company Wagner (a mercenary outfit highly active in the Syrian and Ukrainian conflicts) were spotted during anti-government demonstrators in the capital and largest city of Sudan – Khartoum.
An image of Russian military contractors wearing green camouflage uniforms was posted on Twitter by a political observer Jon Hudson.
In a series of posts on Twitter Jon Hudson said that the group of White people described as Europeans debarked from a Russian military truck in Khartoum and headed toward the demonstration on Dec. 31.
Later he added that photos of the truck show what appears to be a light-brown, Ural-4320, all-wheel-drive, two-door cab, 6×6 truck in troop transport mode, similar to trucks used by the Russian military, and by Russian private military contractors.
“Russian-manufactured military-style truck photographed near an Aman Petroleum station and radio tower in Khartoum on Dec. 26. Observers reported that the armed forces, wearing green camouflage uniforms, spoke Russian,” – also noted Jon Hudson.
Also reported that Russian private military contractors with Sudan’s Security forces forcibly dispersed anti-government demonstrators in Khartoum.
Authorities say at least 19 people including two security personnel have been killed in clashes during the demonstrations so far, but rights group Amnesty International has put the death toll at 37.
Deadly anti-government rallies have rocked cities including Khartoum since December 19, when protests first broke out over a government decision to raise the price of bread.