Russia’s Hybrid Wars Come to Sudan
Russia, and Wagner, unlike Europe, have skin in the Sudan game. So do Turkey, Egypt, and the Gulf States. If this is not enough for Europe to take a much belated interest, then there is gold, minerals, and maritime connectivity, with the two choke points of Suez and Bab Al Mandab at each end of the Red Sea. If Russia acquires a Red Sea port as a result of a victory achieved by the Wagner-backed Rapid Support Force (RSF) that is fighting against the regular Sudanese army, it will be not just the gold mines of Sudan and the Central African Republic (CAR) that will have direct access to the Red Sea. Strategically, Russia will have acquired another warm seaport that can affect Europe’s vital maritime connectivity to Asia. Wagner, in other words, is following the money, and is simultaneously trying to achieve some of Russia’s strategic objectives, as well as currying favour with Putin in the process. As Ukraine yields less economic benefits to Wagner, why not go where there is gold? And why not try to put pressure on Europe by fomenting chaos on its perimeter? And, while at it, why not try to secure another warm seaport on the Red Sea? Welcome to this multi-layered geopolitical show as Russia opens a new theatre in Sudan.
(Photo credit: CIA/Wikimedia Commons)