The commander of the Rapid Support Forces in Sudan, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, also known as “Hemedti,” hinted on Thursday at the formation of a civilian authority in the areas under his control if his rivals in the army establish a war government. He warned of a plan to divide Sudan, similar to what has happened in other countries.
Dagalo’s statements came in response to an earlier statement by a senior official in the Sudanese Sovereign Council, led by the army chief, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, who said last month that there is a need for a transitional government. This appears to be part of an escalation by the Sudanese army and its supporters among the remnants of former President Omar al-Bashir’s regime, threatening the country, which is already torn apart by tribal and ethnic conflicts, with further division and fragmentation.
Dagalo said in an audio recording, “If this situation continues or if the remnants form a government, we will immediately begin extensive consultations to form a genuine authority in our wide and extended areas of control, with its capital being the national capital, Khartoum, and we will not allow the creation of an alternative capital.”
He added that if al-Burhan forms a government based in Port Sudan. “it means that we are heading towards scenarios that have occurred in other countries, with two parties controlling different regions within one country.” He emphasized that his victories and progress did not lead him to declare a government, stating that he is not seeking power as claimed by the Sudanese army and its supporters among the remnants.
He spoke about his forces’ capability to settle battles in eastern Sudan. saying, “Al-Burhan and the remnants control eastern Sudan. which is within our reach if we desire it.” However, he also pointed out his continued commitment to peaceful solutions to end the suffering of Sudanese people. saying, “We want the war to end. and a legitimate civilian authority to be formed to govern the country.”
Dagalo called on all Sudanese people to engage in a broad dialogue on how to preserve the unity of the country and avoid the pitfalls of division. emphasizing that “the priority must be to end the war and unify Sudan.”
He also urged political and civilian forces to shoulder their responsibilities .and stand against attempts to disintegrate Sudan. clarifying that “there has been no legitimate government in Sudan since October 25th.”
He stressed that after April 15th, a comprehensive constitutional collapse occurred in Sudan, causing the de facto government to lose all its legitimacy. and the solution lies in listening to the voice of the Sudanese people and not imposing division projects on them.
While Rapid Support Forces are deployed throughout Khartoum and in the adjacent Bahri and Omdurman areas. the army uses heavy artillery. and airstrikes to repel them, resulting in hundreds of civilian casualties.
The army and the Rapid Support Forces began fighting on April 15th. following increased tension over the integration of their forces as part of a new transition towards democracy. Despite several regional and international mediation efforts. none have succeeded in halting the fighting.
Despite regional and international efforts to impose a ceasefire. the Sudanese army, incited by the former regime and the dissolved National Congress Party. continues to violate all truces.