October 30, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - Some 10,000 troops of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) have definitively returned from Yemen in what is described gradual drawdown of the Sudanese soldiers participating in the Saudi-led war against the Iran-backed Houthi rebels.
The surprising withdrawal has been announced by the SRF General Commander Mohamed Hamdan Daglo (Hemetti) who is also a member of the Sovereign Council in a joint meeting held on Monday including the two bodies of the transitional authority and the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC).
Khartoum based Al-Tayyar newspaper reported that Hemetti told the tripartite meeting that 10,000 troupes have been withdrawn from Yemen and stressed that he would not replace them.
"The gradual withdrawal of troops from Yemen has already begun," he added.
One of the FFC senior officials who participated in the meeting confirmed to Sudan Tribune that Hemetti had unveiled the RSF drawdown from Yemen.
The official who refused to be identified further said that Hemetti spoke about the RSF withdrawal when he was responding to criticism over the RSF involvement the public transport and campaigns to eradicate epidemic diseases.
The RSF leader has been blamed during the meeting of seeking to improve his image as his troops are accused of killing peaceful protesters on 3 June.
In a separate report, the Associated Press reported that Sudanese official confirmed the partial withdrawal but stressed that does not mean that Sudan is quitting the coalition.
"The officials say Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, head of the RSF, agreed with Saudi Arabia that he would not replace returned forces as fighting on the ground has dwindled in recent months," said the AP
"They said a "few thousand troops" remain for training Yemeni government forces".
The Sudanese officials further said the RSF participating in the Yemen war reached over 40,000 when the conflict was at its peak in 2016-2017.
Last week, Saudi forces have been deployed in Aden as the UAE withdrew its troops from Yemen.
Since last June, the Emirati army scaled down its troops in Yemen, after the international pressure to end the conflict which triggered a grave humanitarian crisis.