More than a month after the outbreak of war in Sudan between the army and the Rapid Support Forces, the army commander, Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, announced on Friday the dismissal of his deputy, who became his archenemy, Muhammad Hamdan Dagalo, and surrounded himself with close associates at the head of the army and the state.
For the thirty-fifth day in a row, violent battles are taking place in Khartoum and in the Darfur region at the border with Chad, where tribal fighters and armed civilians are participating in the battles. The clashes in Nyala, the capital of North Darfur state, left 18 dead on Thursday. Witnesses told AFP that the fighting continued on Friday.
In Omdurman, the western suburb of Khartoum, residents reported shelling, in addition to clashes. And while it seems that the negotiations for a humanitarian truce are not achieving any results, there have been changes in the head of state and the army.
Lieutenant General Al-Burhan announced that he had issued a “constitutional decree relieving” the commander of the Rapid Support Forces, Muhammad Hamdan Daglo, from his position as deputy head of the Sovereignty Council (currently the highest political authority in the country) and decided to appoint a landlord in that position.
Likewise, the Sudanese Army Staff Command announced the appointment of Lieutenant General Shams El Din Kabbashi as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Lieutenant General Abdul Rahman Hassan Al Atta and Lieutenant General Ibrahim Jaber Ibrahim Karima as assistants to the Commander in Chief of the Army.
The Sovereignty Council was formed of civilians and military personnel in August 2019, following the overthrow of Omar al-Bashir, and was entrusted with the task of leading the country through a transitional phase that leads to a democratic transition and the handover of power to an elected civilian authority.
However, Al-Burhan, who headed it, and Daglo, his deputy in the council, together staged a coup to remove civilians from power. Less than a year later, Dagalo described the coup as a “failure” and tensions began to rise between the two men.
Malik Agar, who replaces Daglo as deputy of the Sovereignty Council, is the head of the Sudan Liberation Movement-North and hails from the Blue Nile state, at the border with Ethiopia, of which he was governor. In 2020, Agar and the leaders of the rebel movements signed a peace agreement with Khartoum, and he has been a member of the Sovereignty Council since February 2021.
The Sudan Liberation Movement-North was formed in 2011 from members of the Danube rebel movement who preferred to remain in Sudan after the secession of the south. However, it split into two factions in 2017, one calling for a secular state before the signing of the peace agreement, and the other, led by Agar, who agreed to sign. Observers believe that his rise to this position will not affect the military status of the two warring generals.
“The armed forces are able to defeat the rebellion”
Experts believe that both generals believe that they are able to resolve the battle militarily, but they are now equal and both are betting on a long war and not on a settlement through the negotiating table.
The envoy of Lieutenant General Al-Burhan to the Arab summit in Jeddah, Daffallah Al-Hajj Al-Juma, affirmed that “the armed forces are capable of defeating the rebellion, so there is no room for questioning them.”
The dispute was at the center of talks between Arab leaders and kings during the Arab summit in Saudi Arabia. They urged the two warring generals in Sudan to stop the fighting and expressed support for talks taking place in Jeddah between the warring parties in Sudan. Other mediation initiatives are being led by South Sudan and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). But it hasn’t paid off yet.
Sudan has protested against a visit by an envoy of Dagalo to Juba, where he held talks with President Salva Kiir and representatives of IGAD. On the other hand, South Sudan defended its mediation and confirmed its “non-aligned role” to put an end to the conflict in Sudan.
The United Nations, which counts more than a million Sudanese displaced as a result of the recent conflict, has raised 843,000 displaced inside Sudan and 250 outside, the value of the funds it needs to help Sudan, stressing that it is seeking to collect 2.6 billion euros.
And the UN official for humanitarian affairs, Martin Griffiths, announced the allocation of $ 22 million from the United Nations emergency fund to help the Sudanese who fled to countries that have borders with Sudan.
While neighboring countries fear contagion, the United States announced on Friday an aid worth 103 million dollars to Sudan and neighboring countries to face the humanitarian crisis.
Since the outbreak of the war on the fifteenth of April, the battles have claimed nearly a thousand lives and led to the displacement and refuge of more than a million Sudanese, and more than half of the population is in need of humanitarian assistance, according to the United Nations.