Sudan politicians say Bashir loyalists fuelling rift between forces

by Reuters


Sudan’s main pro-democracy coalition has said loyalists to former powerful Omar al-Bashir, who was ousted in a coup in 2019, are driving a rift between the armed forces and a powerful paramilitary group that has voted for the civilian government. Infection is at risk.

The army on Thursday warned of a possible confrontation between its troops and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) fighters, bringing long-standing differences to the surface.

Local and international actors met with army leader General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and RSF chief General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, who has served as Sudan’s head of state and deputy head of state since participating in the coup. have passed Who ousted the Islamist Bashir.

“The ongoing events are part of a plan by former regime loyalists to destroy the political process,” the Force for Freedom and Change (FFC), a coalition of pro-democracy parties, said in a statement.

Members of the Sudan Rapid Support Force on patrol.

Members of Sudan’s Rapid Support Forces (RSF) on patrol. The Sudanese Armed Forces have clashed with the RSF over their roles. Photo | Ashraf Shajli | AFP


power-sharing agreement

The FFC was in a power-sharing agreement with the army after Bashir’s coup until another coup in 2021, when the army and the RSF ousted civilian leaders and took control.

The Rapid Support Force evolved from the militias that fought in Darfur in the early 2000s into a complex paramilitary group, with considerable funds operating under its own chain of command.

Disagreements between the military and the RSF over the reformation and integration of their forces have delayed the final signing of a political agreement that would restore civilian government.

The FFC said it had held meetings with military leaders last week but “had reached conclusions that were not implemented.” They were still in communication, it said.

protest in sudan

Demonstrators during an anti-government protest in Sudan on March 14, 2023. Photo | AFP

purge bashir loyalists

Its leaders have said that a key objective of a new civilian government will be to purge the civil service of Bashir loyalists, who have re-emerged since the October 2021 coup.

During Bashir’s three-decade rule, those who owed allegiance to his National Congress Party (NCP) were preferred for positions in the government and military.

A leader of the now banned NCP told reuters The group this week was intensifying its action against the deal, which envisages elections in two years’ time.

Sudan's army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan

Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, president of Sudan’s Transitional Sovereign Council, who has vowed to establish civilian rule in the country and complete the political process, even as stakeholders abandoned talks. Photo | Ashraf Shajli | AFP

‘causing discord’

NCP elements aim to “sow discord between the armed forces and the RSF and beat the drums of war” to gain power, said a separate statement by civil parties for Thursday’s pending deal.

A desire to limit the spread of political Islam is seen by analysts as a driver behind foreign support for the deal, which has been mediated by Western and Gulf powers, as well as the United Nations and the African Union.

“Sudan’s military leaders must reduce tensions, and stakeholders must engage constructively to resolve outstanding issues and reach a political settlement,” US Assistant Secretary of State Molly Fee said in a statement.


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