Sudan’s Gen El Burhan dissolves Hemedti’s RSF militia as ‘rebel force’

Lt Gen Mohamed ‘Hemedti’ Dagalo (File photo: SUNA)


The de facto leader of Sudan, Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan, has officially dissolved the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), under the command of Lt Gen Mohamed ‘Hemedti’ Dagalo, declaring the militia a ‘rebel force’. The decree follows fierce clashes between the RSF and Sudan Armed Forces that began in Khartoum on April 15 and have since spread across Sudan, leaving at least 185 dead and 1,800 injured.

This death toll, recently estimated by the United Nations, could be much higher as witnesses report that there are many bodies in the streets of the central cities that no one can recover because of the ongoing shooting.

A statement by Sudan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs today says that Lt Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan, Chairman of the Sovereignty Council and Commander-in-Chief of the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF), has issued a decision to dissolve the RSF and declare it a rebel force.

The ministry said that all national, regional, and international mediation that sought to persuade the RSF command to integrate into the armed forces has failed due to the leaders’ intransigence.

The statement closes the door to international, Arab, and African mediation, and said that the matter “the matter is an internal one that should be left to the Sudanese to achieve the required settlement among them, away from international interference”.

‘Minimising civilian losses’

The ministry said that the SAF have adopted a combat strategy aimed at minimising losses among civilians and private and public property, and indicated that these measures may take some time to regain control of some government sites from what it termed “RSF remnants”’.

The ministry statement claims that “the SAF managed to defeat the rebels and inflicted heavy losses on them in lives and equipment, which forced large numbers of them to surrender or flee from the battlefield to the neighbouring states”.

‘Unsound in law’

However, observers question the legal validity of El Burhan’s decision to dissolve the RSF. Lawyer El Moez Hadrat said that El Burhan’s decision to dissolve RSF is “without legal support”.

In an interview with Radio Dabanga, he described the decisions as contradictory, arguing that “the RSF, regardless of the government position on them, are forces on the ground, brought into existence by law, and El Burhan does not have the right to dissolve them”.

Hadrat considers all the decisions issued by El Burhan regarding the RSF to be “wrong according to the law. “Laws are not amended by decisions of the Commander-in-Chief or the President of the Sovereignty Council,” he argues.

War of words

As previously reported by Radio Dabanga, in the propaganda-heavy war of words being waged on social media, Hemedti aims to frame SAF Commander Lt Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan as an anti-democratic radical Islamist whilst framing himself as a proponent of a democratic Sudan, sparking accusations of hypocrisy.