Fighting in Sudan: No negotiations until shelling stops- General Hemedti

One of Sudan’s dueling generals, who leads the paramilitary forces fighting the country’s army, told the BBC he would not negotiate until the war was over. But General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, better known as Hemedti, said his forces had been bombarded “incessantly” since the three-day truce was extended.

“We don’t want to destroy Sudan,” he said, accusing army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan of being responsible for the violence. General Burhan has temporarily agreed to face-to-face negotiations in South Sudan.
The extension of the ceasefire on Thursday night follows vigorous diplomatic efforts by neighboring countries, as well as the United States, the United Kingdom and the United Nations.

Speaking to the BBC by phone, Hemedti said he was open to negotiations but the condition was that the ceasefire be maintained: “Let the fighting stop. Then we can negotiate.” He said he had no personal problems with General Burhan, but saw him as a traitor for bringing in loyalists to the government of former President Omar al-Bashir, who was captured by the army and RSF together toppled in 2019 after massive street protests.

Bashir’s regime – in power for three decades – is known for its Islamic ideology and imposes a strict version of Sharia (Islamic law). “Unfortunately, Burhan is led by the leaders of the radical Islamic front.

In 2021, he and General Burhan canceled a power-sharing agreement with civilians, gaining full control in a coup.
They fell short this year on plans to return to civilian rule, particularly on the timetable to integrate Hemedti’s 100,000-strong Rapid Support Force (RSF) into the military.

“I would like to have a civilian government today – before tomorrow, a purely civilian government. that is my principle,” Hemedti told Sources.

Hemedti told the BBC that his RSF fighters were not the enemy of army soldiers, explaining that they were fighting to protect the country from “remainders of the government of the past 30 years”. “We will not fight you.
Go back to your division and we will not fight you.”

Hemedti’s comments to the BBC come as millions of people are still trapped in the capital, Khartoum, where there is a shortage of food, water and fuel.

The United Nations says RSF troops are forcing people to leave their homes and looting and extortion are taking place.

However, Hemedti told the BBC that his opponents wore RSF uniforms to discredit his fighters. He categorically denies any involvement in looting and taking over hospitals, saying his troops are trying to help the residents of a town fleeing from the violent clashes that have begun 14 days ago.

“My team is working on supplying water and electricity to the areas we control. Unfortunately, all the technicians and engineers are gone. And that’s our main problem.” He said.

Those who remained in Khartoum described living in a “regularly state of fear”. “
The violence is said to be particularly severe in El Geneina, a town in Darfur, western Sudan, where the RSF and militias affiliated with the group are said to have looted and burned markets. aid depots and banks.

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