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Sudan In Fresh Turmoil

 

Sudan is in the grip of fresh violence and this time it’s a fight between two Generals. The Sudanese Armed Forces led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and the Rapid Support Force an erstwhile Janjaweed militia turned paramilitary force led by General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo better known as Hemedti. It is highly disappointing that this naturally rich land has only seen short spells of peace amidst deep cycle of violence. On 15th of this month the RSF led by General Hamdan Dagalo decide to overthrow General Burhan. While rapid violence erupted in capital Khartoum and suburbs of Darfur both sides claimed to have initial success.

The problem lies with the current leaders of SDF and RSF who harness bigger ambitions than the other. Evidently the root cause of the current conflict is the nearing of timeline for new transition planned with civilian parties and putting Sudanese military under civilian leadership. While General Burhan since chosen to lead Transitional Military Council, in April 2019 has managed to hold on to power and went ahead to do constitutional changes to retain himself in the leadership role. On the other hand General Dagalo who has been his deputy since 2019 felt systematically getting side lined and decided the armed intervention is the only way left.

Both the Generals hold considerable military power in form of SDF and RSF and are among richest persons of Sudan. Their business interests have overtaken most of Sudanese national resources into their commercial ventures. Especially in case of General Dagalo whose Al-Junaid conglomerate holds wide interest in investment, diamond trade, mining, transport, car rental, iron and steel. The issue here is not the governance, ideology or the nationalist sentiments it’s more of holding onto power through control of national economy. This makes the threat of external intervention in national affairs a factual reality. There now exists a real threat that this conflagration of violence turns into a civil war.

It would be a challenge for international community and more so for the African Union to get these warlords agree to negotiations and immediately cease the violence. The street fighting has already seen hundreds of deaths and wounded. The continued exodus from Sudan leading to refugee crisis in it’s neighbours like Chad. AU should reflect why it is seeing internal conflicts harnessed by personal ambitions much too frequently. The similar power struggle has been witnessed in Zimbabwe, Ethiopia and Zaire previously. It is a matter of time this gets replicated in other African states too. It would be a complete travesty for humanity that despite a land blessed with so much of natural wealth, still has it’s people rank among most impoverished on the planet. The collective efforts of lifting the African people from abject poverty shouldn’t get diverted by these personal ego clashes.

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