Home PodcastAshraf Garda Fighting in Sudan rages on between the army and the RSF

Fighting in Sudan rages on between the army and the RSF

by Luqmaan Rawat
Heavy smoke bellows above buildings in the vicinity of the Khartoum’s airport Photo CNN

Sudan – Residents in the Sudanese Capital of Khartoum were awoken by gunshots and rocket fire as the violence between the army and the paramilitary group continued overnight into its third day. 

At the heart of the clashes that erupted on Saturday are two men, Sudan’s military leader Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and the commander of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo. Two men, who until recently, were allies. Their fight to determine who would be subordinate to who after overthrowing ousted Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in 2019 has left almost a 100 dead. However, those figures are likely to be much higher as Sudan is battling to handle the casualties, said Shakoor Nyaketo, Journalist based in Sudan.

“The number [of dead] is even more because there is no accurate number of people who have died. There are no medical teams here. I was in a hospital and there are a lot of people here who are dying because of a lack of medical aid. The shooting is still on.”


The reason for the two military groups fighting

The political situation in Sudan has not been stable since the military coup was staged by al-Burhan and Dagalo in 2021. After al-Bashir was ousted, there has always been an uneasy alliance between the military and civilian groups. Failing to agree on the planned integration of the RSF into the regular army has led to the outbreak of violence.

“They were trying to make an agreement between the militant and the civilian army. There was no agreement on the Rapid Support Forces integration into the army and that has not pleased the leader of the RSF. This is the main problem. The integration of the RSF into the army.”

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Fears of escalation in Sudan

As each group claims control over key sites and fighting has been reported across the country in places far from the capital Khartoum. The army is rumoured to have around 210 – 220 000, the RSF are believed to number approximately 70 000. While the army has numbers, the RSF are better equipped and trained and there are very real fears the fighting could escalate.

“The attacks are not only in the capital but across the country. In every one of the 18 states. The problem is the RSF has been deployed in every city in Sudan. They are capturing a lot of places. If there is no cease fire, the situation can get worse. The RSF said they will stop if al-Buhran surrenders and al-Buhran said he will not stop until he finishes them [the RSF].”

The people of Sudan do not support either group. The people have been suffering since the military coup in 2021. With no access to medicine, water or electricity, they just want an end to the civil war, said Nyaketo. 

The Arab League has called on the leaders of the army and the RSF to call for a cease fire and put the nation first. Early Sunday, Egypt and South Sudan offered to mediate to resolve the crisis between the Sudanese army and the RSF. The United Nations has condemned the violence and has ceased operations in Sudan this weekend after three aid workers were killed during violent clashes.

To hear more about the violent clashes from Shakoor Nyaketo, listen to the podcast here:

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