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Sudan militia commander warns of ‘internal enemies’

August 2 - 2020 OMDURMAN
On the occasion of Eid El Adha, Commander of the Rapid Support Forces, Mohamed Hamdan 'Hemeti' addresses his officers at En Nesour military base west of Omdurman, July 31 (SUNA)
On the occasion of Eid El Adha, Commander of the Rapid Support Forces, Mohamed Hamdan 'Hemeti' addresses his officers at En Nesour military base west of Omdurman, July 31 (SUNA)

Lt Gen Mohamed Hamdan ‘Hemeti’, Vice-President of Sudan’s Sovereign Council and Commander-in-Chief of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), has warned of chaos in the country.

On Friday, Hemeti addressed RSF officers at the En Nesour military base, west of Omdurman, on the occasion of the Eid El Adha (the Muslim Feast of the Sacrifice).

He spoke about “an internal agenda” and “a well-studied plan” to thwart peace in the country, the Sudan News Agency reported on Friday.

While “the entire international community wants peace”, there are people in the country who do not want peace “for private reasons,” he said. “We do not know what they want.”

Hemeti pointed to the recent escalation of tribal conflicts in Darfur, South Kordofan, and eastern Sudan, and emphasised the importance of achieving peace.

The Sudanese have to make concessions and accept each other. “Why are we fighting on a land that is wide enough,” he noted.

The militia commander wished the Sudanese people and the Islamic nation a good Eid El Adha, and commended the RSF members for the full performance of their duties.

‘Integrated’

Officially, the RSF militia, set up by the ousted Al Bashir regime in 2013, was integrated into the Sudan Armed Forces in August last year. At the same time however, the militia stays a force unto itself.

The RSF, which grew out of the Janjaweed militiamen who fought for the Sudanese government in Darfur since the war broke out 2003, is widely believed to be responsible for atrocities in Sudan in the past six-seven years. The RSF are also held accountable by many for the violent break-up of the Khartoum sit-in in June 3 last year.

Tens of thousands of RSF troops have joined the Saudi-led campaign against the Houthi rebels in Yemen since 2015.

The RSF militia has reportedly built up a vast business empire that captures not only a large part of the country’s gold industry, but has huge interests in many sectors of the Sudanese economy as well.


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