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South Darfur receives bodies of 17 militiamen killed in Yemen

November 11, 2018 (NYALA) - At least 20 fighters from the government militia Rapid Support Forces (RSF) have been killed and more than 100 wounded in the fierce fighting that has been going on for days in Yemen, a reliable source told Sudan Tribune.

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Sudanese soldiers carry the coffin of Haytham al-Tayeb, the first Sudanese soldier to die in Yemen at Khartoum airport on Friday January 29, 2016 (ST Photo)

According to the source, 17 bodies of RSF fighters participating in the Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen have arrived in Nyala, capital of South Darfur State on Sunday.

The same source pointed out that the RSF militiamen had been killed in a missile attack on the borders of Hodeidah, 226 km from the Yemeni capital Sanaa two days ago.

He said the RSF general command in Khartoum has conveyed the news to the families of the dead on Saturday, adding that more than 120 injured soldiers have been transferred to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for treatment.

The Sudanese army hasn’t issued any statement regarding the incident.

It is noteworthy that Nyala on 19 October received bodies of four RSF fighters who had also been killed in a missile attack on their base in Hodeidah.

Reports from Yemen say the coalition forces have renewed their offensive on Hodeidah, an entry point for 80 per cent of the country’s food imports and relief supplies.

The Sudanese army has been participating in the Saudi-led military coalition since 2015 in a regional effort to back the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi after he was ousted from the capital Sanaa by the Iran-backed Shiite Houthi rebels.

However, following reports about the death of dozens of Sudanese troops and Houthi’s threats to launch missile attacks against Sudan, several legislators called to withdraw the forces from Yemen.

Also, critics point out that several countries members of the Saudi-led coalition did not send troops to Yemen. Others say Saudi Arabia and UAE provides financial support to other countries but not Sudan despite its difficult financial situation.

Last May, State Defence Minister Ali Mohamed Salim said his ministry was evaluating pros and cons of the participation in the Yemen war in order to decide on it soon.

But three weeks later, President Omer al-Bashir underscored continued participation in the military coalition, pointing to Sudan’s declared position to "defend the land of the Two Holy Mosques’’.

(ST)