Sudan’s army chief, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, made a public appearance for the first time since the war began, outside the army’s headquarters and defense ministry compound, according to a statement issued by the army on Thursday
This move is believed to be aimed at boosting the morale of his forces following defeats suffered in the face of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), especially in the vicinity of the armored weaponries in the capital Khartoum.
Al-Burhan, who has been stationed in the compound housing the army’s headquarters in Khartoum, had not been seen in videos for weeks, while the RSF gained control over most parts of the capital, outside the army’s bases, and in several states like Central Darfur. It is anticipated that the RSF might eventually secure complete control over the situation in the capital in the coming weeks.
The chairman of Sudan’s Sovereignty Council, Abdalla Hamdok, visited the city of Omdurman west of the capital, where he interacted with soldiers stationed in the area under tight security, attempting to encourage them to withstand the advancement of the RSF, which now controls entire states and has extended its presence in the capital.
The army released videos of al-Burhan carrying weapons while inspecting soldiers in various military areas within the city. This marks the first time he appeared publicly since the clashes began.
Omdurman is one of the three most important cities in the capital, along with Khartoum and Bahri, and it houses the “Wadi Sayidna” airbase, the War College, and several crucial military areas. Soldiers, led by al-Burhan, were greeted with cheers and chants.
During his inspection tour, al-Burhan met with a group of citizens and shared coffee with a local tea vendor, attempting to create an impression that he maintains control over the situation in Khartoum. However, the field developments indicate the RSF’s progress.
Since the outbreak of the conflict in mid-April, al-Burhan had remained within the General Command of the army, directing war operations from there.
His latest appearance was on July 18th, as he chaired a military meeting while holding a machine gun, a pistol, and a hand grenade at the command and control center in central Khartoum.
Intense clashes erupted on Monday around the “Armored Weaponries” in Khartoum, between the army and the RSF, which attempted to gain control over this strategic military base. The RSF launched a fierce attack from multiple fronts on Sunday to seize the base located in the Shagara area south of the capital. However, they faced fierce resistance from the army.
Both parties in the conflict consistently claim control over the military base through their social media accounts, sharing video clips of their forces inside the base.
A power struggle has been ongoing in Sudan since April 15th, between the army led by Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and the RSF led by Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo. This conflict has resulted in the deaths of nearly 5,000 people and the displacement of over four million, both internally and externally.
On Tuesday evening, the United Nations’ Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Martin Griffiths, once again called on the parties to cease hostilities to allow humanitarian aid to pass through. He emphasized that aid routes are closed and food stocks are depleting in a country where more than half of the population requires humanitarian assistance.