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Sudan says role in Yemen campaign aimed at defending the Two Holy Mosques

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March 31, 2015 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan’s president Omer Hassan al-Bashir said they participated in the Saudi-led military campaign against Yemen’s Huthis in order to “repulse the aggression against the Two Holy Mosques”.

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Sudanese President Omer Hassan al-Bashir addresses a session of parliament on 1 April 2013 in Khartoum (Photo: Ashraf Shazly/AFP/Getty Images)

Sudan formally announced its participation in the military coalition comprising mainly of Arab Gulf states in addition to Egypt, Jordan and Morocco.

The offensive is targeting Shiite Houthi militants allied with Iran, who have taken control of Yemen since September 2014.

Bashir, who was speaking Tuesday in an electoral meeting with the Sufi orders in the Um Dawan Ban suburb east of Khartoum, said Sudan sought to reconcile among conflicting parties in Syria and Libya.

He said they have not adopted the same approach in Yemen due to “aggression against the Two Holy Mosques”, stressing that Huthis “will find us behind them and over them until they lay down arms and return safely to their [region].

The Sudanese president had earlier told al-Masry al-Youm newspaper in Cairo that their participation in the Saudi-led “Operation Decisive Storm” in Yemen is “symbolic” consisting of 3 Russian Sukhoi-24 fighters and some transport planes.

Analysts believe that Sudan’s swift decision to join the coalition is part of a wider strategy to mend ties with Arab Gulf states after years of strained relations over Khartoum’s strong ties with Iran.

Meanwhile, Bashir will travel on Wednesday to the capital of Central Darfur, Zalingei to inaugurate his presidential electoral campaign in the state.

Secretary general of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) Hamid Mumtaz, said that Bashir will address the people of Central Darfur on Wednesday, pointing he will address the people in North Kordofan state capital of El-Obeid on Friday.

He said that Bashir will be accompanied by several members of the national committee for the support of his nomination for presidency.

The governor of Central Darfur state, Ja’afar Abdel-Hakam, for his part, underscored completion of preparations to receive Bashir, pointing his state is witnessing stability of security which has positively affected development.

Sudan’s parliamentary and presidential election is scheduled for 13 April.

(ST)

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