‘Yemen conflict has no military solution’: Sudan’s Abdalla Hamdok

Sudan has been involved in the five-year Yemen civil war since 2015 as part of the Saudi-led coalition.

Abdalla Hamdok
Abdalla Hamdok is the first Sudanese leader to visit the US since 1985 [File: Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/Reuters]

Sudan‘s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok has said the war in Yemen, which the United Nations calls one of the world’s worst humanitarian disasters, has no military solution and peace there could only be achieved through a political solution.

Speaking at the Atlantic Council, a self-described think tank in Washington, DC in the United States, Hamdok said: “When it comes to Yemen… this is a legacy we inherited. I think a conflict in Yemen has no military solution – whether from us or anywhere in the world.”

“It can only be resolved through political means,” he added.

The conflict in Yemen began with the 2014 takeover of the capital Sanaa by Houthi rebels, who have now taken control of much of the country’s north.

Former Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir deployed troops to Yemen in 2015 as part of a major foreign policy shift that saw Khartoum break its decades-old ties with Iran and join the Saudi Arabia-led coalition fighting to restore the internationall-recognised government in Sanaa.

Sudan politics: Bashir’s grip on power still strong

Al-Bashir’s removal from power in April this year and the formation of a civilian government led to the withdrawal  of some 10,000 Sudanese troops fighting in Yemen.

“We will help our brothers and sisters in Yemen, and help play our role with the rest in anyway to help them address this,” said the Sudanese leader.

Hamdok said there were not “many [Sudanese] soldiers” left in Yemen. Estimates say there were around 5,000 Sudanese troops remaining in the war-torn Gulf nation.

The near five-year civil war in Yemen has left tens of thousands of people dead, most of them civilians, according to relief organisations. 

The war has pushed millions to the brink of famine in the Arab world’s most impoverished nation.

Hamdok, who has embarked on ambitious reforms and peace initiatives since his transitional government took over in August after decades of military rule, is the first Sudanese leader to visit the US since 1985.

On Wednesday, the US agreed to restore full diplomatic relations after more than two decades but still classifies Sudan as a “state sponsor of terrorism”.

Source: Al Jazeera