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New bill to place RSF under command of Sudan President

January 10 - 2017 KHARTOUM
Rapid Support Forces parading at Karari base in Omdurman, 15 December 2014 (file photo)
Rapid Support Forces parading at Karari base in Omdurman, 15 December 2014 (file photo)

The Sudanese Security and Defence Committee looks to discuss arranging the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces from the command of the national security service to the commander-in-chief of the Sudan Armed Forces, President Omar Al Bashir.

The committee filed a bill on the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) for the year 2017 on Monday in Khartoum. The genereal features of the arrangement are scheduled to be discussed next Wednesday.

The draft act stipulates that the RSF should belong to the Ministry of Defence and operate under the direct command of the Commander-in-Chief of the Sudanese army, which is the President of Sudan. Currently the RSF are under the command of the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS), which is also accountable to President Field Marshal Omar Al Bashir.

The RSF militia was created in 2013 specifically to fight armed rebel groups throughout Sudan. According to Human Rights Watch investigations in 2015, RSF members are accountable for widespread systematic crimes against civilians, constituting ‘egregious crimes’ against humanity and war crimes.

The Chairman of the Security and Defense Committee, Ahmed Imam Tuhami, told the Sudanese Parliament that the experience of the RSF was accompanied with cons. “It requires arranging and organising its relationship with the regular armed forces, and other forces.”

It is worth noting that SDG3.22 billion ($496 million) has been allocated to the paramilitary force in the state budget for the current year. The Finance Minister announced that the total funds allocated to the Ministry of Defence are SDG 14 billion ($2.16 billion), SDG 4.3 billion ($675 million) for the National Intelligence and Security Service, and SDG 6.28 billion ($9.6 billion) for the Ministry of the Interior.


Background: Who are the Rapid Support Forces in Sudan?


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