May 17, 2024

Sudan is experiencing one of the world’s fastest-growing crises . It has been ten months since the civil war broke out. Since the fighting between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) began in mid-April, over 6.7 million people—nearly one in seven of the nation’s population—have left their homes. They have fled to neighboring nations or within Sudan. More than 5.4 million Sudanese citizens were internally displaced, and 1.3 million left the country.

In this ongoing civil war, there are two main opposing parties. the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF). General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo is in charge of the RSF, and General Abdel Fattah Al Burhan is in charge of the SAF.

Hemedti & The RSF 

Hemedti, also known as Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, is a prominent player in Sudanese politics and a military officer. As the deputy commander of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), he gained notoriety. The Rapid Support Forces (RSF) is a paramilitary group in Sudan. It replaced the Janjaweed militia and was founded in 2013 under the administration of former President Omar al-Bashir. It has had a big impact on Sudan’s political and security scene. Fighting armed rebel groups was its main goal at first, especially in Darfur’s western region. The latter years of Omar al-Bashir’s rule saw the RSF acquire a great deal of strength and clout.

Under Omar Al Bashir, the RSF and Dagalo became a key player, even going so far as to become involved in the Darfur conflict. The Darfur conflict drew criticism from around the world and charges of violations of human rights. Nonetheless, Dagalo and the RSF also developed a reputation for being successful in quelling rebel activity and upholding law and order in Sudan, which helped them win the favor of some Sudanese citizens .As the RSF’s deputy leader, Hemedti rose to prominence after the military coup of 2019. He became the Vice-President of the Sudanese military led government.

Burhan & The SAF 

General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan  is the head of  the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF).He is also the de-facto ruler of Sudan. After Omar al-Bashir was overthrown in an April 2019 coup in Sudan, Burhan assumed the role of acting president until 2021. After becoming president he solidified Sudan’s ties with western power.

In August 2019 he formed a body called Transnational Sovereignty Council (TSC). Basically TCS is a multi party body.  It has 2 branches . Civil political groups and military junta. Burhan became the chairman of this council. Hamdan Dagalo was made the vice-chairman of the council. The Council was mainly aimed to make the political scenario in Sudan look a little democratic and valid to the western powers.

Both of these generals worked together to overthrow President Omar al-Bashir. Bashir was overthrown in April 2019 after three decades of ruling following a nationwide uprising .In 2021 Burhan and Hemeti decided to remove the civilian politicians from the TSC. Because according to the agreement the TSC would last only 39 months ( Military Junta rule for 21 months , Civilian politician rule for 18 months). The legal tenure of the military rule ended in November 2021. But before that General Burhan along with the SAF hijacked the government in a military coup known as The October Sudan Kudeta. After the coup both Burhan and Hemeti both ruled Sudan together. 

What went wrong? 

Following the coup, Burhan began to reinstate those who had previously been part of Omar al-Bashir’s government. At this point, Dagalo began to feel that Burhan would never really trust him. A further problem is that an elite group of people centered in the Khartoum region along the river Nile, dominates Sudanese politics. Dagalo come from the region of Darfur that is a rural area in the Western Sudan . The Sudanese elite always looked down upon Dagalo and his paramilitary force RSF . They were called names like ‘Country Bumpkins’. 

Dagalo tried to overcome these claims . He became a nation wide figure as the voice of marginalized people . He even stared to form alliances with rebel groups within the Darfur region. All of these events led Burhan to take into consideration a proposal regarding the RSF. The proposal was to put the RSF under the control of the Sudanese army. Dagalo was not in favour of it. These chain of events made the two generals  rivals. Now they are fighting for power in Sudan . 

The conflict has devastated thousands of lives in Sudan . The two groups are also accused of committing war crimes. As of December 11th, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) estimates that 1.4 million individuals had fled in South Sudan, Ethiopia, Egypt, Chad, and the neighboring Central African Republic.

During a recent visit , Filipo Grandi, the UN high commissioner for refugees urged the international communities not to abandon the people of Sudan as the world’s attention is on the Ukraine and Gaza war.

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