KHARTOUM (Dispatches) – Sudan has 5,000 troops operating in Yemen, down from a peak of 15,000, Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok said on Sunday, adding that he believed no military solution was possible.
Briefing journalists on his return from Washington, Hamdok said there had been no discussions during his visit about withdrawing the troops.
"Regarding Yemen we said that there is no military solution and there must be a political solution,” Hamdok told reporters at Khartoum airport.
Sudan has been one of the main contributors to the so-called Saudi coalition against Yemen, formed in 2015 in a bid to install a pro-Saudi government in Sana’a and crush Yemen’s Houthi Ansarllah movement.
Hamdok had earlier vowed to withdraw troops from the Saudi-led war in Yemen, saying his country’s role should be limited to assisting in a political resolution of the conflict.
"The conflict in Yemen has no military solution, whether from us or from anywhere in the world,” Hamdok told the Atlantic Council, a U.S.-based think tank, on Thursday.
According to reports, up to 40,000 Sudanese troops were deployed in the country during the peak of the conflict in 2016-2017.
Late October, however, Sudanese officials said the country had withdrawn thousands of troops from Yemen, with only a "few thousand” remaining.
Hamdok, who is leading the country’s transitional government in a power-sharing pact with the military, further stated that he will be "absolutely” able to withdraw the remaining troops from Yemen.
The new prime minster said his government had "inherited” the deployment in Yemen from Sudan’s former president Omar Hassan al-Bashir who was ousted following a popular uprising against his rule in April.
Hamdok pledged to "address” the country’s involvement in the Saudi-led war "in the near future” without further elaborating on the matter.
While Sudanese officials have abstained from publishing official casualty numbers in Yemen, Yemen’s armed forces have said a total 4,253 Sudanese troops have been killed in the conflict.
The developments come as the Saudi-led mission in Yemen has come to a standstill due to the resistance and increasingly sophisticated attacks of Yemeni forces.