United States Says Wagner Has Quietly Picked Sides in Sudan

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of the notorious private military company Wagner, has offered weapons to the paramilitaries fighting for control of Sudan, according to American officials.

Mr. Prigozhin, who is waging a brutal military campaign on behalf of Russia in Ukraine, said this week that he wanted peace and offered to help mediate between the rival generals fighting for power. But American officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly, said Mr. Prigozhin is actually intent on fueling the fighting between the two military factions in Sudan: the Sudanese Army, overseen by Gen. Abdul Fattah al-Burhan, and the Rapid Support Forces paramilitaries, led by Lt. Gen. Mohamed Hamdan.

Wagner — which previously sent Sudan armored vehicles and training in return for lucrative gold mining concessions — has offered powerful weapons, including surface-to-air missiles, to General Hamdan’s paramilitaries, American officials said.

As of Friday, General Hamdan had not decided whether to accept the weapons, which would come from Wagner stocks in the Central African Republic, the officials said.

Since 2019, Wagner has expanded its activities in Sudan, mining for gold, exploring for uranium and supplying mercenaries to the restive region of Darfur. After the two generals seized power in 2021, Wagner intensified its partnership with General Hamdan, who visited Moscow in the early days of the Ukraine war and has received military equipment from the mercenary group.

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