Defence Minister supports bill to move RSF under his command

The Defense Minister, Awad Ibn Oaf has supported the bill on the Rapid Support Militias’ belonging to the Ministry of Defense to be under the command of the Commander of the armed forces and to be held accountable in accordance with the Armed Forces Act.

Defence Minister Awad Mohamed Ibn Auf has showed his support for the draft bill that would shift the command over the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) to his Ministry, under the Commander-in-Chief and President Omar Al Bashir.

The Sudanese Security and Defence Committee filed a bill on the RSF for the year 2017 with the Sudanese Parliament on Monday. Through the administrative change the National Intelligence and Security Service would lose command over the RSF. The paramilitary force would then fall under the Ministry of Defence and receive its own budget. 

The RSF “will become a special task force”, Deputy chairman of the Security and Defence Committee El Toam El Fadil announced yesterday. “Under the command of the Commander-in-Chief, who shall delegate his powers to the Minister of Defence, thus becoming the first responsible for them with respect to grades, promotions, accountability, rehabilitation, costs and tasks.

“The troops cannot perform any military task without the knowledge or the directives of the armed forces.” The bill includes 25 articles, El Fadil told reporters after his committee met with Minister Ibn Auf and his legal adviser.

The Minister plans no restructuring of the RSF after the draft is passed, because they are already structured forces as battalions and brigades, El Fadil added. SDG3.22 billion ($496 million) has been allocated to the paramilitary force for the current year. 

Relationship with regular forces

The chairman of the committee, Ahmed Imam Tuhami, said on Monday that the experience with the RSF has had its downsides, and its relationship with the Sudan Armed Forces and others Sudanese forces “requires arranging and organising”.