Sightings of Russian-speaking mercenaries in the Sudanese capital have raised concerns that the Kremlin is moving to prop up the autocratic regime of President Bashir.
The reports and photographs from Khartoum have emerged as anti-government protests there grow and the president faces the biggest threat to his military dictatorship since he seized power 30 years ago, according to The Times.
The apparent deployment of Russian muscle comes as the Kremlin seeks to develop trade, security and defense links to sub-Saharan Africa.
The newspaper's sources in the Sudanese opposition reported that mercenaries from Russia's PMC Wagner in Sudan are conducting strategic and practical training for local security and intelligence services.
In the Central African Republic, hundreds of Wagner fighters were stationed next to Sudan, helping train Sudanese military. In June, three Russian journalists tried to investigate the activities of Russian mercenaries in Africa, but they were killed, the article says.
The publication recalls that the United States put the Wagner group on the sanction list over their participation in the Russian war against Ukraine.
Also, the American Treasury believes that 2,500 Wagner's men are fighting in Syria on the side of the regime of Bashar al-Assad.
In Sudan, caucasian Russian-speaking men wearing camo were photographed as they were transported in trucks. The same fighters were noticed during the protests in Khartoum.
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir twice traveled to Russia. There, he agreed to help Vladimir Putin realize his ambitions for spreading Russian influence in Africa.
Al-Bashir was sentenced by the United Nations International Criminal Court for war crimes. Therefore, he needs powerful allies, such as Putin. Last month, the Sudanese autocrat also met with Syrian leader Bashar Assad. Observers called it the “genocide summit,” which was a step toward Russia.