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Sudan's RSF threatens to set up authority with Khartoum as capital

September 15, 2023 at 9:39 am

Head of Sudan’s ruling Sovereign Council and Commander-In-Chief of the Sudanese Armed Forces Abdel Fattah al-Burhan’s deputy Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo speaks during the ceremony held at the Friendship Congress and Meeting Hall in Khartoum, Sudan on December 05, 2022 [Mahmoud Hjaj – Anadolu Agency]

The head of Sudan’s main paramilitary group yesterday threatened to set up a governing authority in areas his forces control if his enemies in the army form a government, Reuters reports.

Rapid Support Forces (RSF) commander Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo has been fighting the army for almost five months in a conflict that has wrecked the country and triggered a humanitarian crisis.

Last month, a senior figure in Sudan’s Sovereign Council, headed by army chief General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, said a caretaker government was needed.

Yesterday Dagalo, known as Hemedti, said: “If the army forms the government, we will immediately initiate broad consultations to establish a genuine civilian authority in areas under our extensive control with Khartoum as the capital.”

He added that any move by the army to set up a caretaker government in the eastern Red Sea port of Port Sudan would split the country.

While the RSF has fanned out across residential areas throughout Khartoum and neighbouring Bahri and Omdurman, the army has used its advantage of heavy artillery and air strikes to try to push them back, resulting in hundreds of civilian casualties.

The army and RSF began fighting on 15 April, after tensions arose over integration of their troops in a new transition to democracy. While several countries have launched mediation efforts, none has succeeded in bringing a halt to the fighting.

READ: Sudan conflict displaces over 5.25m civilians: UN