Conflicts & War

Paramilitaries claim control of Sudan leader’s Presidential Palace

Khartoum, Apr 15 (EFE).- Members of the Rapid Support Forces paramilitary group on Saturday claimed to have taken “full control” of Sudan’s Presidential Palace where the leader of the Sovereign Council and Army, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, resides.

Tensions between the government and paramilitary groups led by the vice president of the Sovereign Council, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, alias Hemedti, have escalated in recent days with the two factions blaming each other for the conflict.

“The Rapid Support Forces were surprised Saturday with a large force from the army entering camps in Soba in Khartoum and laying siege to paramilitaries there,” the RSF said in a statement.

According to the RSF, the paramilitary group has seized the Presidential Palace and guest house, Khartoum international airport, Marawi airport in northern Sudan bordering Egypt, and Al Obeid, in southern Sudan.

“What the Armed Forces Command and a number of officers did represents a clear violation of our forces, which were committed to peace and restraint,” the armed group said.

The RSF added that citizens were safe and that the situation was under control.

“The Rapid Support Forces will continue to protect the nation’s dignity, security and safety,” the statement added.

However, Sudan’s Army said that it was facing “the brutal aggression” of the RSF and that it would protect the country from “their betrayal.”

Brigadier-General Nabil Abdallah, an army spokesperson, said that the Saturday morning operation was in response to an RSF attack on several Khartoum army camps.

The Sudanese Army recently warned that the country was going through a “dangerous juncture” after the RSF mobilized forces in the capital and other cities without army chiefs being notified in advance.

“This is a violation of their role,” the army warned in a statement.

Hemedti on Friday expressed his willingness to seek a solution to escalating tensions without “bloodshed,” according to Sudanese officials who act as mediators between the military and the armed group.

The rivalry between the RSF and the military has delayed the democratic transition in Sudan.

A key condition for the agreement is for the RSF to be integrated into the military, but disagreements on how this should happen and what authority should oversee the process have led to a deadlock.

Sudan’s democratic transition started in 2019 with the toppling of long-time dictator Omar al-Bashir.

It was interrupted on 25 October 2021, when al-Burhan seized control in a military coup.

The RSF emerged from the Janjaweed militias, accused of committing crimes against humanity during the Darfur conflict (2003-2008). EFE


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