Al-Burhan and {Hamedti}... a violent end to an old friendship

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Al-Burhan and {Hamedti}... a violent end to an old friendship


Al-Burhan and {Hamedti}... a violent end to an old friendship...The relationship of the two men and the reasons for the war between the army and the “rapid support”

Al-Burhan and {Hamedti}... a violent end to an old friendship

Army Commander, Lieutenant General Al-Burhan (AFP) - Commander of the Rapid Support Forces, Muhammad Daglo (Hamidati) (AFP)

The armed conflict that took place yesterday between the Sudanese army, led by Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and the “rapid support” forces led by Lieutenant General Muhammad Daglo “Hamidti” ended an old relationship of friendship and cooperation between the two men, which began with the beginning of the conflict in the Darfur region in 2003 during the rule of the ousted president. Omar al-Bashir. At that time, Hemedti formed a small armed group to confront other armed movements in the region that were resisting the Bashir regime. So Al-Bashir chose to support Hamidti's group, while Al-Burhan was coordinating the army's operations in Darfur, where the relationship between the two men arose. With time, the size of Hemedti's forces grew, which eventually became affiliated with the army, but it always maintained a kind of independence in its leadership and operations.

Then this relationship strengthened in April 2019, under the pressure of the great popular revolution that demanded the fall of Al-Bashir’s regime, so the two men agreed to overthrow Al-Bashir, who is supported by the “Muslim Brotherhood”, and to form a military council to rule the country headed by Al-Burhan, while Hamidti occupied the position of deputy head of the military council. . Since the fall of Al-Bashir, the relationship has experienced limited tensions between the two men from time to time, but it was short and always resolved quickly, and trust returned between them.

The third stage in the dispute

As for the third stage in the relationship, it began shortly after the coup that the two men orchestrated against the civilian government in October 2021, when Al-Burhan restored the elements of the Bashir regime to sensitive positions of power, which Hamidati objected to, whom the Islamists consider a traitor. Because he stabbed al-Bashir from behind, and Hemedti reciprocates their feelings of hostility. The disagreement in political positions gradually developed between the two men, sometimes emerging to the surface in insinuating statements at times, and direct at other times.

However, the failure of the October coup to form a government for more than a year, and the deterioration of the economic and security situation in the country, prompted the various military and civilian parties to sign a framework agreement in December 2022, which was widely accepted by civilians and important and influential parties from the international and regional community. . Although Al-Burhan and Hamidti signed this agreement, which provides for the transfer of power to civilians and the return of the military to their barracks, a new and stronger disagreement emerged between the army and the Rapid Support Forces over the implementation of one of the provisions of the framework agreement related to military reform and the integration of the Rapid Support Forces into the army.

Variation of positions

The two parties differed on several issues in this matter, the most important of which was who would assume the leadership of the new unified leadership. While Hamidti demanded that the committee be headed by the prospective civilian head of state, Al-Burhan demanded that it be headed by the army commander. Hemeti also called for the removal of pro-Islamist officers from the army, while integrating his forces into it. Despite international, regional and local mediations to reduce tension between the two military forces, the conflict has developed rapidly in recent weeks until it reached the point of the armed clash that took place yesterday (Saturday), in which Hamidti described his old friend Al-Burhan as a "criminal and a liar", while the army described the Rapid Support Forces. It is a rebel militia, after he described it as an integral part of the armed forces. Rather, it was "born from the womb of the army."

In the latest episodes of escalation during the past weeks, the statements and war of words escalated between the two parties, including what was stated by the deputy of the Rapid Support Forces, Abd al-Rahim Dagalo (Hemedti’s brother), when he spoke directly to the army commanders who control the joints of power in the country, saying: Our message to our brothers in power is to hand over power to the people without turning around. He added, “From today on, we will not allow the killing of young demonstrators or the arrest of politicians. We have a lot in our chests and we have been silent a lot, and we do not want to become a reason for what is happening, but we will not budge or go back from the basic principles that unite and do justice to the Sudanese people.

For his part, Al-Burhan said, in the midst of the verbal escalation: “We, as soldiers, are interested in integrating the Rapid Support Forces … without this, no one in the agreement will go forward.” What many understood is that it requires the integration of Rapid Support into the army first before continuing to implement the rest of the framework agreement . Many expressed their surprise at Al-Burhan's statement, given that the merger was originally stipulated in the agreement, according to a timetable to be agreed upon between the two parties.

Disagreement over the "framework agreement"

The dispute over the framework agreement escalated and turned into verbal exchanges between the two men, and into accusations that contained threats, culminating in the withdrawal of the Sudanese army and military forces from the security and military reform "workshop" from which the army's representatives withdrew. Then the verbal exchange between the two men became public and clearer after the failure of the technical committees formed by the two parties to agree on the time period required for the integration of the Rapid Support Forces, and the army believes that it should be completed within 3 years, while the Rapid Support insists that it not be less than 10 years, and the committees also failed to The agreement to preside over the command and control of the forces, while the army clings to its commander-in-chief Al-Burhan as head of the command, the RSF insists that the command of the military forces devolve to the civilian head of state who is expected to be named after the signing of the final agreement.

Hamidti considered what the army is doing as an attempt to put the cart before the horse to prevent the formation of a civilian government, and that the army leaders are planning to stay in power, using the popular term “Makenashin” that is strong indicative of clinging to power. Then the mobilization and mobilization operations began**********

Against the forces, the Sudanese army warned the "rapid support" and accused it of mobilizing large numbers in the capital, Khartoum, and some cities, which is confirmed by eyewitnesses. However, Hamidti, in parallel, said that he adheres to the framework agreement and the handing over of power to civilians, and that his forces are keen to enhance stability in the country.

Military mobilization

Before the outbreak of the military clash between the two sides, the military build-up continued between the two sides in the past few days, which culminated in the stationing of a "quick support" force near the air base in the northern city of Marawi.

The crisis reached its climax at the airport in the northern city of Marawi, near the air base of the Sudanese army, with the deployment of the "Rapid Support" forces for a large number of vehicles and soldiers near the military base, claiming that it had mobilized these forces to defend its forces so that aircraft would not be used against them.

And sources had told Asharq Al-Awsat, earlier, that a meeting that included both Al-Burhan, Hamidti, the international forces supporting the civil transition, and the forces that signed the framework agreement, reached an agreement to defuse the crisis by providing assurances of rapid support, and evacuating the air base from the aircraft that He threatened the "rapid support" forces, but the army forces did not abide by him, so Hamidti instructed his forces coming from the west to continue the march to both Merowe and Khartoum and build a base there.

The situation remained severely tense throughout the past week, however, mediation led by multiple parties declared their success in defusing the fuse, and announced a meeting between the two men that was scheduled to take place yesterday morning (Saturday), but instead the armed clash occurred between the two parties, which was what the Sudanese feared. Even though they knew it was coming soon. Sources say that with the outbreak of war between the two parties, the old friendship between Al-Burhan and Hamidti, which has shaped many political and military scenes in Sudan since 2013, has ended. Even if this war ended at any moment, it is unlikely that the friendship that turned into great hostility would return.

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Arab and international calls for calm in Sudan
Saudi Arabia urges giving priority to the language of dialogue... America calls for avoiding escalation... and Russia supports a cease-fire
Sunday - 25 Ramadan 1444 AH - April 16, 2023 AD Issue number [16210]

A screenshot from a videotape during the clashes between the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces in Khartoum yesterday (Reuters)
London - Riyadh - Cairo: «Asharq Al-Awsat»
Yesterday, Arab and international positions stressed the need for calm and the predominance of the language of dialogue in Sudan, in the wake of the confrontations between the army forces and the “rapid support.” Yesterday, Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah, the Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs, received a phone call from Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE Foreign Minister, and Anthony Blinken, the US Secretary of State. During the call, they discussed the current situation in Sudan, with an emphasis on the importance of stopping the military escalation, and returning to the framework agreement, in a way that guarantees the security and stability of Sudan and its brotherly people. The call came at a time when the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed its deep concern about what is happening in Sudan. In a statement, she called on the military component and all political leaders to "give priority to the language of dialogue, self-restraint, wisdom, and unity of ranks, in an effort to complete the framework agreement that aims to reach a political declaration under which political stability and economic recovery will be achieved."

The Saudi Foreign Ministry asked citizens in Sudan to take caution. The Saudi embassy in Khartoum also called on Saudis residing in Sudan to stay in their homes.

In Abu Dhabi, the Emirates News Agency said that the embassy in Khartoum “is following with great concern the current events in brotherly Sudan and affirms the UAE’s firm position on the need to reduce escalation and work towards a peaceful solution to the crisis between the concerned parties.” As Dr. Anwar Gargash, the diplomatic advisor to the President of the Emirates, said, "Our hearts are with the brotherly people of Sudan. Violence does not generate anything but violence, and there is no alternative to restraint and dialogue between the belligerents." "There is no choice but a peaceful transition and opening a new page befitting this ancient country after a long suffering," he added.

For its part, the Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged all parties to stop the fighting immediately, exercise maximum restraint, give priority to the public interest, and spare civilians the consequences of the fighting.

The Kuwaiti Ministry of Foreign Affairs called for an immediate halt to the escalation and fighting, and for the voice of wisdom and dialogue to prevail over differences.

The Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Jassim Al-Budaiwi, expressed his grave concern, calling for calm and restraint.

The Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Hussein Ibrahim Taha, also called for an immediate ceasefire, a return to the path of dialogue, and the voice of reason prevailing.

The Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, expressed his concern and annoyance about the situation in Sudan, stressing the readiness of the League's General Secretariat to intervene with the parties to achieve this.

And in Cairo,****

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry called on the Sudanese parties to "exercise maximum restraint... and uphold the higher interests of the country." A spokesman for the Egyptian army also said that the army is closely following the situation in Sudan and coordinating with the concerned Sudanese authorities to ensure the security of the Egyptian forces.

In turn, the head of the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs and former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Muhammad al-Orabi, told Asharq Al-Awsat that “the two sides of the clashes in Sudan are losers, and what is happening is tantamount to a ‘leap in the dark’ through military action that will not bear anything in the end, and the Sudanese people will pay a heavy price if Things continued like this.”

For her part, Dr. Amani Al-Taweel, advisor to the Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies and an expert in African affairs, told Asharq Al-Awsat that “the Egyptian approach to interacting with what is happening in Sudan centers on not getting involved in an internal conflict taking place between Sudanese parties.” .

In Algeria, the Presidency of the Republic said in a statement: “Algeria calls on all Sudanese parties to stop the fighting and to give priority to the language of dialogue to overcome differences, no matter how complex they are.”

International positions

In international situations, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called in a statement to stop the fighting immediately and start dialogue to resolve the crisis, warning that any escalation in the fighting would have a devastating impact on civilians and exacerbate the already unstable humanitarian situation in the country. He also called on member states in the region to support efforts to restore order and return to the transitional path in Sudan.

"More violence will only make matters worse," said Martin Griffiths, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator.

In Moscow, the Russian Foreign Ministry said, “The unfortunate events in Sudan are of deep concern in Moscow. We call on the parties to the conflict to show political will and restraint and to take urgent measures for a ceasefire.

For his part, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken expressed his deep concern, writing on Twitter: "We urge all parties to immediately stop violence, avoid further escalation or mobilize forces, and continue talks to resolve outstanding issues." The US ambassador in Khartoum, John Godfrey, considered the direct fighting to be "very dangerous," calling on the military leaders to stop the fighting.

In Brussels, the European Union's foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, called on the Sudanese forces to stop the violence immediately, warning that the escalation would only "exacerbate the situation."

In Addis Ababa, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said that his government is following with great concern the clashes between the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces, adding that his country is ready to mediate in the conflict.

And while the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki, urged the fighting forces to immediately stop “the destruction of the country and terrorize its population,” the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) warned that the escalation of events would cause a “setback” and lead to serious insecurity and instability in Sudan and the entire region.

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