In the power struggle between two Sudanese generals, they claimed nearly a hundred lives. As a result, the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) leader and vice president, Mohamed Hamdane Daglo, is asking for international help against army chief and president Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.
According to the RSF leader, the latter is “a radical Islamist who bombs civilians from the air”.
Troops from RSF and the regular army clashed on Saturday, also deploying artillery, tanks and fighter jets. In Khartoum, the sounds of gunfire and explosions increased on Monday. It is unclear which party has the upper hand. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on Monday to immediately end the fighting.
In the capital Khartoum, the violence is concentrated around strategic points, such as the army headquarters, the presidential palace and the airport located in densely populated parts of the city. RSF says it has checked the airport and entered the presidential palace, but the army denies that. Instead, they carry out airstrikes on RSF positions, and according to residents and observers in Khartoum, RSF has taken up positions in homes.
RSF leader Daglo accuses his opponent of having struck a deal with radical Islamists. The latter formed an essential pillar of the ousted dictator Omar al-Bashir in 2019 and played an important role within the army after 2019. Daglo knows they hope to “isolate Sudan and keep it far from democracy. So we will continue to prosecute al-Burhan and bring him to justice.”
Al-Burhan spoke out publicly for the last time last Saturday. He then said only that the army had the situation under control.
Daglo and the RSF have been accused of severe human rights violations. The troops continued the Janjaweed militias that sowed death and destruction among the population during the conflict in Darfur. In 2019, Daglo and al-Burhan seized on massive widespread protests to oust al-Bashir from power, and in 2021 another coup by the duo followed, then to overthrow a civilian government.
A new civilian government was recently promised in Africa’s third-largest country and in anticipation of that, the RSF would be enlisted in the army. However, that led to a conflict between the two generals, which escalated into open conflict over the weekend.