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Sudan denies involvement of Russian mercenaries in anti-protest operations

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January 11, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese Interior Minister Ahmed Bilal Osman has dismissed reports saying that Russian mercenaries are participating in the government efforts to quell popular protests that call on President Omer al-Bashir to go.

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Wagner military spotted in Khartoum streets during last December protests (photo activists)

The London based The Times two days ago said the presence of Russian mercenaries of Wagner private military firm in Khartoum during the protests "raised concerns that the Kremlin is moving to prop up the autocratic regime of President Bashir".

The daily further cited opposition sources saying that Wagner staffers "are conducting strategic and practical training for local security and intelligence services".

What the British newspaper reported is "completely false, but a mere fabrication intended to offend the government," said adding that "if there were Russians the demonstrators would say that"

The minister pointed out that the security situation is fully under control and does not require the intervention of foreign mercenaries.

"The police and other security forces still have the lead and continue their professional handling of the protests," he stressed.

Last week, Sudanese security sources confirmed the presence of Wagner Russian military in the country and that they work with the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) but refused to speak about their activities in Sudan.

Unconfirmed reports say there are over 500 Russian mercenaries deployed in Darfur on the border with the Central African Republic as Moscow heavily backing the government in Bangui and Russian mining firms and working in the country.

(ST)

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