Sudan’s political future after the war. Will the army return to its barracks?

مطار الخرطوم

Fire at Khartoum Airport on April 16 (Photo: Facebook)


Sudanese journalists, writers, and poets have expressed their concern and fear of the collapse of the Sudanese state as a result of the ongoing war between the army and the Rapid Support Forces. This appeared through numerous messages exchanged on social media or through articles published on Sudanese opinion-focused websites.

Radio Dabanga conducted a mini survey among its closed WhatsApp groups, which have more than 1,400 members, and on the radio’s social media platforms. The questionnaire revolves around people’s expectations of the fate of the army and the RSF after the end of the war. Will they be combined into one army, or will one side win and the other side will be excluded from the scene? And will this war, after its end, lead to the cleaning of the Sudanese army from the Islamist elements organized within the army, to turn it into a truly national army?

The expectations of the participants on the WhatsApp application showed that the largest percentage of the participants, amounting to 44 per cent, expects that a process of merging the army and rapid support to form a unified national army will be the guarantee of stability in the future.

The next percentage in the size of the percentage of representation, amounting to 28 per cent, says that all the possibilities presented are unthinkable, and there are many other scenarios outside the perceptions of merger, or the victory of one of the two parties and the exclusion of the other.

As for the Facebook survey, we see almost the same trend, as 57 per cent of the participants expect the two forces to merge and form one national army.

Against this background, Radio Dabanga hosted two military men, former officers of the armed forces, in the “From the Other Side” program, and asked them about their expectations regarding the army and the Rapid Support Forces, combined with fears of future stability based on the outcome of this war.

Mounir Osman Abubakar – retired officer (Photo: Supplied)

A mine in the side of the homeland

Retired officer Mounir Osman Abubakar, who worked in several units of the Special Forces and the Paratroopers, says that at that time they knew, as officers and soldiers, that the Rapid Support Forces were a mine in the side of the homeland, as he put it, but they differed in reading the degree of danger of these forces as a threat National security and stability of Sudan.

He went on to say that the current scenario is the darkest scenario that no one dared to predict, whether military or civilian alike, and added, with the exception of a few of the cadres of the former regime who seek to shuffle the cards, describing that the current war situation is the result of opportunism with which this group was known. A cadre of organised Islamists.

Voice of Mounir Osman Abubakar

Mounir expected the end of this war, the victory of the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF), and that there would be some kind of agreement after the end of the war with the Rapid Support Forces (RSF). He explained that these forces will fragment and fragment, and that the agreement that will take place will be with the moderate factions seeking peace and stability within the Rapid Support Forces. He added that whatever happened, the members of these forces are Sudanese and have no guilt in this war that was imposed on them.

Abubaker told Radio Dabanga that the fragmentation of the RSF as a result of this war will be one of the biggest risks that will threaten peace and stability and plant what he called the seeds of rebellion in Darfur, which will follow the same approach as the armed movements in Darfur. However, he expected that in the event of this scenario, containing the situation would be relatively easy, or not difficult, as he said.

He said he hoped that these forces would yield to the voice of reason, lay down their arms and join the armed forces in this war, which he described as the victor in it losing anyway.

Regarding the prolongation of the war and its failure to be resolved by the armed forces in a limited time as promised, Mounir explained that the military has estimates other than those of civilians, on top of which is limiting losses among civilians and damage to infrastructure, as well as losses among the RSF.

As for the future of democracy after the end of the war, and whether the armed forces will hand over power to civilians, the retired officer asserts that he is convinced that his colleagues in the armed forces since the beginning of the revolution worked seriously to transfer power to civilians. And that after the end of the current war, the leadership of the armed forces will realise that its continuation in power is impossible.

He also predicted that there would be a transitional period of two years, after which free and fair elections would be held under international supervision, which would lead to the establishment of a full civilian government. They committed it in the period before the start of the war.

Endless chaos

Radio Dabanga also spoke to retired pilot Maj Orwa Hamdan Zayed, who described what is happening now as the height of chaos. And who believes, in principle, that the army and the RSF in their current form should not have been present on the scene, pointing to the devastation caused by the Islamists in the composition of the armed forces.

Zayed added that the current chaos has no end in sight, according to his reading of the situation and what it will lead to in the future. He made it clear that a respectable army must be born from a respectable government in a respectable country. Thus, the future scenario depends on the collective will of the people and how they see their future and the future of the country. Pointing out that the normal situation is for the citizen to support his national army. The failure of this matter to occur decisively and effectively led to a delay in declaring the victory of the army.

When asked about the support that the people were supposed to provide, the former pilot replied that all the current youth, graduates, and workers in various facilities in the state had received military training in the national service. However, it is possible to see that many people stand by and watch the ongoing war and the voices that hold the army itself responsible for creating rapid support and allowing it to expand and arm itself.

The voice of Orwa Hamdan Zayed – retired officer

Speaking to Radio Dabanga, he pointed out that the air force and long-range artillery alone cannot resolve the battle in favour of the SAF.

Maj Zayed expressed his sadness and regret over the fighting that is happening now in the capital, Khartoum, recognising that such a war has been taking place for a long time in the south, in Darfur, and the regions of Kordofan and Blue Nile, but the capital, Khartoum, is for everyone, and everyone lives in it, and everyone is affected by the mill of the ongoing war. in it now.

As for the future of stability in Sudan after the end of this war, and if the army is ready to hand over the reins of power to a civilian government and leave the political scene, the retired pilot expressed his confidence and certainty in the ability of the Sudanese people and their collective will.

At the same time, he warned against the future interference of political parties in the military establishment. In this regard, he explained that the first thing that the military student learns in the college is to stay away from any partisan political work or activity during his military career, but “all political parties have constantly extended their hand to influence the military students since the beginning of their career, and to influence the military establishment as a whole to favour the party’s agenda and desires”.