LONDON, April 20. /TASS/. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, the commander of Sudan’s paramilitary Rapid Support Forces has denied Western news reports that the private military company Wagner is engaged in the country’s conflict on the side of his forces, according to his interview with the Financial Times that was published on Thursday.
He referred to such concerns as a "phobia."
"I used to have a good relationship with them, but once they were sanctioned, I have personally told [Army Commander Abdel Fattah] Burhan to deal only with the Russian Federation," Dagalo, also known as Hamidti, said in the interview.
Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of Wagner, said on April 18, as the situation in Sudan continued to escalate, that the company didn’t hadn’t had a single fighter in the country for more than two years.
The situation in Sudan has escalated over disagreements between army commander, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, who also heads the Sovereign Council, and the head of the Rapid Support Forces, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, who is his deputy in the council. On April 15, clashes erupted between the sides near a military base in the city of Merowa and in Khartoum. The latest data from the World Health Organization indicate that at least 300 people were killed in the clashes while more than 2,600 sustained wounds. The Sudanese Doctors' Committee said at least 174 civilians were killed and more than 1,000 wounded.
Dagalo described al-Burhan in the interview as a leader of a "radical Islamist gang" seeking to establish a military dictatorship. He said he sought to "arrest him and hand him over to justice."
Burhan said in a separate interview with the FT that, "The army is committed to completing the political process according to the framework agreement and transferring power to a civilian-led government."
Both sides have blamed each other for civilian casualties.