Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday he agreed that a triumph by Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, the warlord commonly known as Hemedti, in the ongoing civil war in Sudan would be a major gain for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Noting Hemedti's ties to Putin, Newsmax asked Pompeo if he felt a victory by the warlord over Sudan's de facto head of state, Gen. Abdel Fattah Burhan, and the resulting acquisition of gold and other precious metals would enhance Putin's hand in the Russia-Ukraine war.
"I absolutely think so," replied the former secretary of state and CIA director, who spoke at a forum of the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C.
Pompeo said: "My perspective on Sudan is that they were part of the Abraham Accords [the 2020 treaties normalizing relations between Israel and four Arab states, including Sudan]. So I've met these generals. I know Burhan and Hemedti and this cast of characters."
"It's interesting that when I was working on this project," he added, "the whole propaganda inside the country was staggeringly effective in influencing what the whole population thought we were trying to do."
While pointing out that he doesn't think the Sudan conflict "is a proxy for Ukraine," Donald Trump's secretary of state cautioned, "We should also keep in mind that there are other places that this conflict [between Russia and the West] is taking place, and the absence of American leadership has an impact. Sudan is a good example.
"Don't forget Gulf-Arab state influence in those African countries as well: the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Even some of our other friends have lots of influence in these places."
Pompeo said: "These are certainly things that America must follow [and] attempt to influence. And we should never forget how much capacity we have to actually shape those — not only through our own resources [but] through the assistance we put through others who have actual forces on the ground, who are friends of ours and who would want to work against increased Russian influence in those places."
Returning to the question of whether a Hemedti victory in Sudan would benefit Putin in Ukraine, Pompeo said: "I want to make sure I stay on the unclassified part of this, but the predicate of your question is correct."
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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