Authored by Andrew Korybko via The Automatic Earth blog,
Debunking The Latest Fake News Narrative
CNN published an exclusive piece on Thursday alleging that “Evidence emerges of Russia’s Wagner arming militia leader battling Sudan’s army”. They claim that satellite imagery shows increased Russian military transport activity between Libya and Syria in the run-up to Sudan’s “deep state” war. According to CNN, this confirms rumors that General Haftar is supplying Rapid Support Forces’ (RSF) leader General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo (“Hamedti”) with surface-to-air missiles (SAM) on behalf of Wagner.
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) published their own exclusive piece the day prior on Wednesday alleging that “Libyan Militia and Egypt’s Military Back Opposite Sides in Sudan Conflict”, so these two stories complement one another. Both Hamedti and Wagner have denied these claims, however. The Sudanese Ambassador to Russia also confirmed that “Russia is a friendly country to us so we have been in direct contact with [the] Russian Foreign Ministry since the very beginning of those events last Saturday.”
That diplomat’s reaffirmation of Sudan’s close ties with Russia is especially important since he represents the government that’s internationally recognized as being led by Chief General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, who commands the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and is one of the two figures vying for power. At present, Khartoum therefore doesn’t extend credence to the emerging US-led Western Mainstream Media (MSM) narrative that Russia is arming the RSF via Haftar-Wagner, but that could soon change.
Preconditioning The Public For Another Proxy War
Unless the present three-day Eid ceasefire holds and leads to the start of peace talks that ultimately end this “deep state” war, which is unlikely since both sides made clear their intent to completely destroy the other, then this conflict is expected to resume in the near future. Should the SAF fail to defeat the RSF and possibly even be placed on the backfoot, then Burhan might gamble that it’s in his best interests to parrot the MSM’s anti-Russian accusations in an attempt to receive direct Western military support.
That scenario isn’t all that far-fetched either considering that the Associated Press and Politico both cited unnamed officials on Thursday to report that the US is assembling additional troops in nearby Djibouti to prepare for the possible evacuation of Americans from Sudan. This pretext could easily be exploited to arm the SAF and/or attack the RSF, especially if the Pentagon claims that the latter tried stopping its operation by building upon last week’s claim that its forces shot at an armored US diplomatic vehicle.
In the event that Burhan repeats the MSM’s emerging anti-Russian narrative and promises to rubbish Sudan’s naval base deal with Moscow upon defeating the RSF, then the Biden Administration can “justify” its military intervention on the basis of “defending Sudanese democracy from a Kremlin coup”. The public would then be told that the latest conflict was sparked by Russia’s support for the “insurgent” RSF, which the MSM would attribute to its interests in defending Wagner’s mining operations there.
American Meddling In Russian-Egyptian Relations
This would predictably precede an unprecedented but preplanned information warfare campaign painting Russia as a “destabilizing” force in Africa, which would be aimed at counteracting its hitherto highly successful efforts at presenting itself as a force of stability in support of legitimate governments. The purpose of this aforesaid operation would be to erode Russia’s newfound “Democratic Security” appeal across the continent with a view towards reversing the decline of Western influence there.
Furthermore, Burhan’s potentially opportunistic piggybacking on the earlier described emerging anti-Russian narrative could have serous implications for Moscow’s ties with Cairo due to the perception of them backing opposite sides in Sudan’s “deep state” war. Russian-Egyptian relations have recently been beset by scandal upon the latest Pentagon leaks alleging that Cairo abandoned its supposedly secret plan to supply rockets to Moscow under pressure from Washington and agreed to arm Kiev instead.
Considering this context, the scenario of Egyptian-backed Burhan blaming Russia for sparking the latest conflict could therefore lead to the rapid deterioration of Russian-Egyptian ties, especially if Cairo decides to indirectly retaliate against Moscow by curtailing its investment rights in Port Said. Those two signed an additional agreement on this industrial zone last month, which was first approved in 2018 and is supposed to help Russia expand its economic engagement with the broader region.
Punishing The Emirates For Its Close Relations With Russia
That goal could be jeopardized if Egypt decides to punish Russia through these means in response to Burhan opportunistically piggybacking on the MSM narrative in an attempt to obtain direct Western military support against the RSF. Furthermore, the UAE’s ties with Egypt and the US could also become much more complicated in that event too since Abu Dhabi is accused of backing reportedly RSF-allied Haftar, being favorable disposed to that armed Sudanese group, and secretly allying with Russia.
The last-mentioned accusation was brought to the public’s attentions as a result of the previously mentioned Pentagon leaks, which were denied by the UAE but coincided with the weakening of its ties with Washington that are partially over that Gulf country’s growing ones with Moscow. There are more factors at play than just the Russian-Emirati relationship, but the point is that the UAE’s problems with the US could be amplified by the MSM if Burhan accuses Russia of arming the RSF via Haftar-Wagner.
It also deserves mentioning that America’s other ulterior interest in its incipient propaganda campaign against Russia in Sudan is to complicate its geopolitical opponent’s logistical connections with the Central African Republic (CAR), which owes its continued existence as a state to Moscow’s military support. The Kremlin largely relies on transit across Sudan in order to supply its forces and its ally’s there, but this could be cut off if Burhan jumps on the anti-Russian bandwagon and revokes Moscow’s privileges.
The Chadian Connection
Lastly, another strategic factor behind this latest information warfare offensive against Russia is that it could ruin that country’s surprisingly solid relations with regional military heavyweight Chad. As explained in this recent analysis here, N’Djamena ended up expelling the German Ambassador earlier this month for meddling instead of the Russian one despite the US telling its counterparts in late February that Moscow is using Wagner in the CAR and Libya to arm anti-government rebels against it.
The Associated Press cited an African analyst from a Western risk assessment firm in their article on Thursday about 320 SAF troops fleeing to Chad to claim that this development could prompt N’Djamena into taking those forces’ side in Sudan’s “deep state” war. According to Benjamin Hunter, “N’Djamena is likely to oppose (Dagalo) due to fears that RSF dominance in Darfur could empower Chadian Arabs to unseat the (president’s) regime. Many within (Dagalo’s) Rizeigat tribe live across the border in Chad.”
If Chad becomes embroiled in Sudan’s “deep state” war on Burhan’s side, then it might be susceptible to Western suggestions that jumping on the anti-Russian bandwagon like he would have already done in this scenario could lead to them suspending their regime change campaign against N’Djamena. Should that happen, then this regional military heavyweight might also support any potentially forthcoming rebel/terrorist offensive that its historical French partner could soon plot against Russia in the CAR.
Putting everything together, the US plans to achieve the following strategic objectives by introducing the narrative that Russia is arming the RSF:
Entice Burhan to extend credence to these claims in exchange for US military support;
Demand that he also rescinds Russia’s naval base rights and cuts off its overflight access to the CAR;
Consider direct support to the SAF on the pretext of commencing an “evacuation operation” in Sudan;
Discredit Russia and the UAE’s African engagement policies by framing both as “destabilizing forces”;
Attempt to provoke a crisis in Russia’s relations with Sudan’s Chadian and Egyptian neighbors;
Exploit the above scenario to assemble a regional coalition for pushing back against Russia in Africa;
Encourage Chad to support a French-backed rebel/terrorist offensive in the Russian-allied CAR;
Plot a copycat proxy war in Russian-allied Mali in order to crush the Kremlin’s influence in the Sahel;
Perfect this new Hybrid War method prior to employing it all across the continent;
And thus turn Africa into the top proxy war battleground of the New Cold War.
The US therefore has many reasons to push this fake news campaign, though it’s unclear whether it’ll ultimately achieve any of its envisaged objectives or not.
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Sat, 04/22/2023 – 21:30