Politics

Two generals tearing Sudan apart

A soundtrack of explosions, a skyline ruled by bitter, black smoke, a every day life of worry and uncertainty as bullets, rockets and rumours fly.

Life in Sudan`s capital, Khartoum, and different parts of the country, has taken a sudden, very dramatic flip for the worse.

At the coronary heart of it are generals: Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the chief of the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF), and Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, popularly called Hemedti, the top of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

The 2 work together, and performed a coup together – now their struggle for supremacy is tearing Sudan apart. The friendship among the 2 goes back a long way.

Both performed key roles in the counter-insurgency towards Darfuri rebels, in the civil war in Sudan’s western region that started out in 2003. Gen Burhan rose to govern the Sudanese military in Darfur.

Hemedti became the commander of one of the many Arab militias, together called the Janjaweed, which the government hired to brutally put down the large non-Arab Darfuri rebel groups.

Majak D’Agoot became the deputy director of the National Intelligence and Security Services at the time -before turning into deputy defense minister in South Sudan when it seceded in 2011.

He met Gen Burhan and Hemedti in Darfur, and stated they work nicely together. But he informed the BBC he noticed little signal that both might raise to the top of the state.

Hemedti became honestly a military chief “gambling a counter-insurgency role, supporting the army”, whilst Gen Burhan became a profession soldier, though “with all of the aims of the Sudanese officer corps, whatever became possible”.

The army has been ruling Sudan for most of its post-independence history. The government approaches in Darfur, as explain by Sudan professional Alex de Waal as “counter-insurgency at the cheap”, used everyday troops, ethnic militias and air force to combat off the rebels – with little to no regard for civilian casualties.

Darfur has been defined as the first genocide of the twenty first Century, with the Janjaweed accused of ethnic cleaning and the usage of mass rape as a weapon of warfare.

Hemedti in the end have become the commander of what might be defined as an offshoot of the Janjaweed, his RSF.

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