US Secretary of State Antony Blinken voiced "deep concern" over a Russian private military company's activities in Sudan on Monday as fighting continued to spiral in the East African nation.
Blinken did not specify which activities the Wagner Group is currently involved in, but said the Biden administration is concerned by its "engagement" in the war-torn country.
"It's in so many different countries, and in Africa, an element that, when it's engaged, simply brings more death and destruction with it," Blinken said during a joint press conference with Kenyan counterpart Alfred Mutua.
"It's very important that we not see its further engagement in Sudan, and I know a number of countries are very concerned with that prospect," he added.
Mutua agreed with Blinken's assessment, saying Nairobi shares concerns over Wagner's activities, which he said are "destabilizing."
"The position that Kenya holds is that we don't want interference by any group," he said. "At this particular time, we would just like to be left with Sudan without, you know, foreign and other groups interfering with the peace process."
CNN reported on Friday that the Wagner Group has stepped into the conflict in Sudan on behalf of a paramilitary force currently vying for control of the country. Wagner's support reportedly includes the provision of surface-to-air missiles to Sudan’s Rapid Support Forces (RSF).
Wagner had two days prior denied any involvement in the conflict, saying its operatives have not been in Sudan for over two years.
The statement said Wagner has not maintained contact with either Sudanese army chief Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan or with RSF leader Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo for “a long time.”
At least 413 people have been killed and 3,551 others injured since April 15 when conflict broke out in the capital Khartoum and other cities between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the RSF, which the military had declared a rebel group.
Disagreement had been fomenting in recent months between the army and RSF over military security reform. The reform envisages the full participation of the RSF in the military, one of the main issues in the negotiation process carried out by international and regional parties for the transition to civilian and democratic rule in Sudan.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.